Damage from typhoon Bopha in the Philippines. Photograph: AFP/Getty
The Philippines's strongest typhoon so far this year has forced more than 41,000 people from their homes as it pounds southern provinces – cutting power, suspending travel and flooding areas that are prone to landslides.
More than 41,000 people evacuated high-risk coastal villages and along rivers, including in areas that were devastated by a deadly storm a year ago.
President Benigno Aquino III made a national TV appeal for people in typhoon Bopha's path to move to safety and take storm warnings seriously.
Aquino said army troops had deployed search and rescue boats in advance. Authorities ordered small boats and ferries not to venture out along the country's eastern coastline, warning of rough seas and torrential rain and wind that could whip up four-metre waves.
Government forecaster Jori Loiz said Bopha, the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year, had weakened since it made landfall in Davao Oriental province early on Tuesday but winds remained at 99mph (160km/h) with gusts of up to 121mph.
The civil defence chief, Benito Ramos, said officials were checking for casualties or damage from a landslide on a mountainside village in Compostela Valley province. They were also working to verify unconfirmed casualty reports from Southern Leyte and Davao Oriental provinces. Power was cut off in several municipalities in southern Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Davao Oriental provinces after parts of Agusan del Sur province flooded.
Bopha's rain front, 373 miles wide, is expected to be out of Philippine territory by Friday.
Bopha, its name taken from the Cambodian word for flower or a girl, is the 16th big storm system to hit the Philippines this year. The country usually has about 20 typhoons and major storms a year.