Four dead as Typhoon Melor slams into the Philippines
Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 3:38 PM - Typhoon Melor is responsible for at least four deaths in the Philippines, one of the most typhoon-prone nations in the world.
The storm was at one point the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in the central part of the archipelago nation on Monday, bringing strong winds, torrential rains and storm surge.
At last report, Melor boasted winds of more than 154 km/h, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, which was weaker than at its initial landfall.
It has crossed several islands, and its current position is actually clear of the country, though its weakening winds will continue to impact the Philippines into Wednesday.
Reports on the circumstances of the four reported deaths are unconfirmed, but ABC says three died in floods, while another was killed by flying debris. The Guardian reports one death due to hypothermia.
More than 700,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm, and although that may have saved lives, millions were left without power as strong winds downed trees and power lines.
Dozens of flights were cancelled ahead of the storm, and thousands of seafarers were confined to port before its arrival in the densely populated nation.
Aside from the potential for wind damage, CNN reports the storm dropped around 250 mm of rain on some of the islands, raising the risk of localized flooding, but also of landslides, a common danger in more mountainous parts of the country.
The Philippines often receives several direct hits from storms of varying intensity over the course of the Pacific typhoon season. In October, Typhoon Koppu was responsible for at least 58 deaths in the country.
In November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed the country, leaving more than 7,000 people dead or missing, the deadliest storm in Philippines history.