Philippine authorities cancelled flights and urged people to move to safer ground as typhoon Koppu approached the main island of Luzon. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLES (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Philippine authorities cancelled flights and urged residents and tourists to move to safer ground on Saturday (October 17) as a powerful typhoon approached the main island of Luzon. With winds of up to 160 kph (99 mph), typhoon Koppu is about 300 km (185 miles) east of Baler in Aurora province, moving west and due to make landfall in the early hours of Sunday (October 18) Disaster agency officials said about 300 hundred people living in vulnerable coastal or low-lying areas had already sought shelter due to the risk of floods, landslides and storm surges of up to two metres (6.5 ft). National disaster agency Executive Director Alexander Pama said at a news briefing in Manila that all local government agencies in the typhoon's path have been advised to prepare, while emergency personnel have been deployed to assist in the relief distribution. "The destruction will be dependent on what will actually happen, but on the basis of the forecasts and what we are saying, in so far as preparations is concerned, you always prepare for the worst and expect or hope for the best," he said. Rain had already started in Manila although winds are not expected to be strong enough in the capital to cause damage. The weather bureau said ferries and fishing boats should also seek shelter or stay in port with a risk of the storm generating large sea swells. AccuWeather, a weather information provider, said Koppu could drench large areas of rice-growing Luzon with between 30 to 60 centimetres (12 to 24 inches) of rain and cause life-threatening flooding and mudslides. Airport authorities have grounded 14 domestic flights, while the Coast Guard has suspended a search for a missing yacht with four on board in the South China Sea. On Friday, President Benigno Aquino issued a televised appeal to people not to panic and to make preparations.