Philippine bananas Bopha floods

Typhoon Yolanda is set to cause significant damage to banana production in Mindanao, the Philippines' second largest and southernmost island.

The typhoon, known internationally as Haiyan, entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) earlier today and is expected to hit land on Friday in Eastern Visayas.

With maximum sustained winds of up to 200km per hour and gusts at 230km, 13 areas in the Visayas and Mindanao have been put under storm signal no 1.

Heavy to intense rainfall is also anticipated within the typhoon's 600km diameter.

The Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government yesterday convened all disaster risk reduction management councils in the region, with disaster response teams and rescue units put on 24hr high-alert.

Rivers in Barangays Iponan, Tablon, Bugo and in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental are being closely monitored.

Trees and other obstructions with the potential to cause damage to houses are also being identified and cleared.

Officials have cautioned that this storm is likely to pose the most intense to hit the country this year.