Philippines to Evacuate 200 000 People, Typhoon Nears

World | November 22, 2007, Thursday // 00:00
Philippines to Evacuate 200 000 People, Typhoon Nears Typhoon Mitag gathers strength and may develop into a super typhoon, experts say. Photo by US NAVY

The Philippines prepare to evacuate 200,000 people as typhoon Mitag gathers strength and approaches the coast, officials said on Thursday.

Authorities try to avoid a repeat of last year's devastation caused by typhoon Durian, which killed 1,200 people and left 120,000 homeless in the southern region of Bicol as the storm crashed through the coast.

Mitag, currently a category 1 typhoon with winds of 120 kph (75 mph) and gusts of up to 150 kph (95 miles) may develop into a super typhoon once it reaches land, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) have said.

Mitag is a woman's name meaning "my eyes", according to the Web site of the Hong Kong Observatory, which lists cyclone names in use in the Pacific.

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