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Evacuation ordered in Philippines as typhoon approaches

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Manila, typhoon, evacuation, philippines, Virac, Catandunaes,,country,christmas,Manila: Philippine disaster officials on Saturday ordered people living in coastal villages south of Manila to move to safer places as Typhoon Nock-ten is approaching the country.

Speaking for the national disaster agency, Mina Marasigan told reporters that evacuation has got underway along the coastlines of Albay province to avoid possible storm surge and strong winds, Xinhua news agency reported.She said alert levels have been raised in many provinces that are in the path of Typhoon Nock-ten. The typhoon is expected to make landfall in Virac, Catandunaes province on Sunday afternoon or evening.

The bureau warned in its 5 p.m. (local time) bulletin that the typhoon, packing maximum winds of up to 175 km per hour and gusts of up to 215 km per hour, could trigger a storm surge of up to 2 m in at least 10 provinces.Several flights have been cancelled, stranding many passengers who wish to spend Christmas eve and Christmas with their families in the provinces.

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20 killed in Turkey earthquake

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Ankara: At least 20 people were killed and 1,015 others injured after a massive earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Turkey, authorities said on Saturday.

The quake hit the Elazig province at 8.55 p.m. on Friday night, with its epicentre in Sivrice district, along with neighbouring provinces and countries including Syria and Georgia, reports Anadolu News Agency.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said that most of the injured were reported in Elazig (560).

The search and rescue operations were continuing and the death toll could rise, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters on Saturday.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the injured were transferred to hospitals and facilities have been opened to serve those who have been affected.

The AFAD said 118 aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from 2.7 to 5.4, were felt following the initial temblor.

National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the army was ready to step into action if necessary.

The quake was also felt in other provinces including Adana, Osmaniye, Tunceli and Hatay, said Anadolu News Agency.

In addition, northern Syrian regions including Idlib, Azaz, Al-Bab, Jarabulus, Afrin and Tal Abyad also felt the tremors.

This is not the first quake to hit Turkey in 2020.

A 5.4-magnitude quake jolted western province of Manisa on Wednesday, while Ankara was rattled by a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Thursday.

A total of 51 people were killed in 2010 when a 6.0-magnitude quake had hit Elazig province.

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