Philippines braces for typhoon, evacuation ordered

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Philippine officials are evacuating thousands of residents in areas prone to floods and landslides as Typhoon Songda roars toward the country's northeastern region.

Government weather bureau chief Graciano Yumul says the typhoon is likely to make landfall Friday afternoon over Aurora and Isabela provinces.

Yumul says the typhoon is packing winds of 80 miles per hour (130 kilometers per hour) and gusts of 100 mph (160 kph) and heading north.

It was about 190 miles (310 kilometers) east of Northern Samar province late Wednesday.

It is also expected to pass near Albay province on its way to the northeast. Gov. Joey Salceda ordered some 250,000 residents there evacuated. He has offered rice as an incentive to evacuees.