27 Sep 2011

Powerful typhoon battering Philippines

4:20 pm on 27 September 2011

A powerful typhoon has struck the Philippines, triggering floods, cutting power and halting work in the capital Manila.

Typhoon Nesat also forced the closure of the Philippine Stock Exchange and the United States embassy in the city on Tuesday.

At least one person was killed and another four have been reported missing, the BBC reports.

As the storm approached, authorities ordered the evacuation of more than 100,000 people in the central Albay province.

The typhoon is expected to continue across the country, before blowing across the South China sea towards southern China on Thursday.

Nesat made landfall just before dawn on Tuesday in the eastern Isabela and Aurora provinces on the Pacific coast.

The storm brought wind gusts of up to 170km/h is making its way across the island of Luzon, home to more than half the Philippine population, the BBC reports.

The Philippines suffers frequent typhoons, but Nesat is thought to be the largest this year and struck almost exactly two years after Typhoon Ketsana which flooded much of Manilla, killing at least 400 people.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines has cancelled all its international and domestic flights after a surprise walk-out by its ground crew on Tuesday in protest at plans to oursource their 2600 jobs.

The strike added to the chaos brought on by Typhoon Nesat which causing many other domestic flights, ferry services and railway operations to be suspended.