Hundreds of people evacuated parts of the southern Philippines Monday as a powerful typhoon barreled toward the nation.
Forecasters reported early Monday that Typhoon Bopha was about 550 kilometers southeast of Surigao del Sur province's Hinatuan township. They said the storm had gusts of up to 210 kilometers per hour and that it should make landfall sometime overnight to Tuesday morning.
Philippine authorities say they have stockpiled food supplies and rescue equipment in the storm's predicted path.
The archipelago country is vulnerable to severe flooding caused by heavy rains and tsunamis. It also must contend with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. At the end of last year, more than 1,200 people died in the southern part of the country because of major floods brought on by storms.
The government has been working on a high-tech weather monitoring system that will help officials come up with a more accurate prediction of natural disasters and an integrated response. Right now, anyone can look up a forecast on a special website by plugging in a location. Residents can get rainfall predictions and view cloud patterns.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.