A crowd of Filipino passengers are seen at a bus terminal days before Christmas Day in Pasay city, Manila. (Photo: EPA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine authorities on December 24 urged hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate for fear that typhoon Nock-Ten will hit the country’s eastern coast on Christmas Day.

Nock-Ten is expected to be packing winds of 222 kilometres per hour when it makes landfall on Catanduanes, a remote island with 250,000 residents on December 25, reported the United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

It is then forecast to hit the country's main island of Luzon and the capital city of Manila on December 26.

Rachel Miranda, spokeswoman for the civil defence office in the Bicol region that includes Catanduanes, said the office recommended the local administration to conduct urgent evacuations to minimise casualties from the storm.

The highest levels of readiness are being undertaken, as food and other provisions are prepared in the designated evacuation centres.

The Philippine islands are often the first major landmass to be stricken by storms that generate over the Pacific. The Southeast Asian country endures about 20 major storms each year, many of them deadly.

The most powerful and deadliest was Haiyan, which left 7,350 people dead or missing and destroyed entire towns in heavily populated areas of the central Philippines in November 2013.-VNA