Storm evacuation underway in Philippines

Evacuations are underway in the southern Philippines.
Evacuations are underway in the southern Philippines.

Thousands of people in the southern Philippines have fled their homes ahead of a tropical storm expected to bring heavy rains and trigger landslides.

More than 12,700 residents from 12 towns in the province of Surigao del Sur province, 835 kilometres south of Manila, were ordered to evacuate homes in low-lying areas and near the coast on Saturday.

Provincial Governor Ayec Pimentel said more people were expected to be evacuated ahead of tropical storm Dujuan's projected landfall on Sunday afternoon along the coast of Surigao.

Dujuan was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h and gusts of up to 90 km/h, the weather bureau said.

The storm was moving east at 15 km/h and expected to bring intense rains over Surigao and nearby provinces over the weekend before weakening into a tropical depression.

"Scattered to widespread flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides are likely during heavy or prolonged rainfall," the bulletin said.

River channels may also swell, causing more floods in other areas.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 tropical cyclones every year.

The strongest typhoon to hit the country was Haiyan, which killed more than 6300 people and displaced more than 4 million in November 2013.

Australian Associated Press