Philippines urges residents to evacuate ahead of typhoon Nock-Ten
Children play along an empty beach after Typhoon Haima struck Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, in northern Philippines, October 20, 2016. Reuters (Representational Image)

Philippines authorities urged hundreds of thousands of people on Saturday to evacuate their houses as they expect a strong typhoon to hit the country's east coast on Christmas Day.

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center said that typhoon Nock-Ten is expected to pack winds of 222kmph and cause landfall Catanduanes, a remote island of 250,000 people on Sunday. After Catanduanes, the typhoon is expected to hit Luzon, including the capital Manila, on Monday.

"We issued an advisory to local government units this morning to conduct preemptive evacuations," Rachel Miranda, spokeswoman for the civil defence office in the Bicol region that includes Catanduanes, told AFP.

The Philippine weather service has also warned of potentially deadly two-metre waves along the east coast, as well as landslides and flash floods from heavy rains.

On Saturday, the coastguard shut down ferry crossings to nearby islands were all shut down as a precautionary step ahead of the typhoon. Local broadcaster ABS-CBN showed footage of long lines of trucks, cars and vehicles stranded at Bicol port due to the sudden shut down.

Cedric Daep, civil defence chief for the Bicol province of Albay, said that at least 400,000 people in that region needs evacuation. "Our evacuation centres will not be able to accommodate all of them," Daep told AFP. "We are requesting vehicle support" from other government agencies to move people to safety," he added.

This sudden news of typhoon has prevented thousands of people from returning to their hometowns for the Christmas weekend.

In November 2013, Philippines witnessed one of the most powerful and deadliest typhoons named Haiyan that left more than 7,350 people dead or missing.