Hurricane Kammuri on Tuesday lashed the Philippines with fierce winds and heavy rain, as tons of hundreds took refuge in shelters and the capital Manila ready to close down its worldwide airport over security considerations.

The powerful storm, which blew in windows and sheared off roofs, roared ashore late Monday and was due to pass south of Manila — home to some 13 million people — and thousands of athletes at the regional Southeast Asian Games.

Forecasters said Kammuri remained strong, with sustained winds of up to 155 kilometres per hour, and maximum gusts of 235 kph as it tracked northwest.

“We’re still assessing the damage but it looks like it’s severe,” said Luisito Mendoza, a disaster official in the town where the storm made landfall.

The managers of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Worldwide Airport mentioned operations had been anticipated to halt at 11 am (zero300 GMT) as a precaution in opposition to excessive winds.

According to disaster officials, about 340, 000 people had been evacuated from their homes in the central Bicol region.

However, some residents opted to stay put even as the storm began to strike.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing hundreds and putting people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty.

The country’s deadliest cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.

(With inputs from agency)