Philippines braces for powerful Christmas Day typhoon, winds up to 185km/h expected

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A large category 3 typhoon is expected to hit the Philippines on Christmas morning, bringing severe winds, heavy rainfall and potentially flooding and dangerously high sea levels.

Typhoon Nock-Ten is currently tracking towards the Philippine’s capital Manila from the east, and will pack winds up to 185km/h, according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

“This Christmas Day could be a bumpy one for those living in or near the path of the storm, so it’s really important communities are well prepared, especially those living in coastal areas,” Save the Children Country Director in the Philippines, Ned Olney said.

“A Christmas Day typhoon is the last thing that’s needed, but storms like this are a reality for this part of the world at this time of year. It’s vital that while families are organising their social activities this festive season, they also plan for the typhoon, which has strengthened in the past 24 hours.

“Save the Children teams are monitoring the storm’s progress and we are ready to respond if required.”

The aid agency has large stockpiles of relief items in strategically located warehouses across the country, including thousands of emergency shelter kits, hygiene kits, water and sanitation items, and essential household items.

“We are all hoping Typhoon Nock-Ten weakens as it approaches landfall, but we are prepared for all outcomes,” Olney said.

Save the Children has a long history responding to disasters in the Philippines, including typhoons Koppu in 2015, Hagupit in 2014 and Haiyan in 2013. The aid agency has been working in the country since 1981.