Typhoon Noul hits the Philippines forcing evacuations

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media captionFootage showing Cagayan Province, Philippines as it was hit by Typhoon Noul

A powerful typhoon has hit the north-east Philippines, in Cagayan province, killing two people and cutting electricity supplies to many parts of the region.

Warnings of flash floods, landslides and storm surges forced thousands of people to higher ground.

Noul is the strongest storm to hit the Philippines so far this year.

The storm, with wind speeds of 220km/h (137mph), is expected to move towards Taiwan and Japan on Tuesday.

The Philippines sees frequent extreme weather - more than 7,000 people were killed when Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013.

Two men were electrocuted on Sunday while fixing the roof of their house in Aparri town.

However, authorities said they did not expect high casualty numbers as most people had followed evacuation orders.

image copyrightEPA
image captionA satellite image of Typhoon Noul showed it approaching the Philippines

"They've learned their lesson from past storms," Norma Talosig, the regional civil defence director, told AFP news agency.

Safer grounds

Typhoon Noul, locally called Dodong, made landfall on Sunday in Cagayan province, about 400km (250 miles) north of the capital Manila, downing trees and damaging houses.

Relief supplies were moved in to place in preparation for the storm, while flights and sea crossings were cancelled leaving more than 5,000 passengers and some 100 vessels stranded along the eastern coastline.

At least 2,500 people reportedly fled their homes to find safer grounds in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.

Ms Talosig told AFP that more than 1,680 people had been evacuated from risk areas in Cagayan alone.

image copyrightEPA
image captionTrucks have been stranded with sea crossings cancelled
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe disruption has also caught out some road passengers

The central province of Aurora was also on alert ahead of the typhoon, but that was not enough to deter surfers from taking advantage of high waves.

Weather forecasters say the typhoon weakened after hitting land and is expected to head towards southern Japan on Tuesday.

image copyrightEPA
image captionFarmers had been busy harvesting rice ahead of the typhoon's landing
image copyrightReuters
image captionEmergency supplies were moved to where they might be needed, in case the storm disrupted transport links

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