By Associated Press - Monday, December 14, 2015

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Typhoon Melor weakened Tuesday as it crossed over the central Philippines, leaving one man dead and wide areas without power. About 730,000 people were evacuated to safer grounds before the typhoon hit.

The government weather bureau said Melor was northwest of central Romblon Island, packing winds of 140 kilometers (87 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 170 kph (106 mph). Classes, flights and ferry trips remain suspended in affected areas.

The typhoon is expected to exit the land mass of Mindoro island later Tuesday, said Adzar Aurelio, a government weather forecaster. It will move over the South China Sea away from the country, and is forecast to weaken to a severe tropical storm on Wednesday and to a tropical depression by Thursday.

One fatality has been confirmed. Edgar Posadas, a regional civil defense official, said a 31-year-old man was hit Monday by a dislodged tin sheet while he was fixing his house’s roof in Northern Samar province.

The national disaster management agency said 733,153 people were evacuated before the typhoon hit, and officials said that averted more casualties.

About 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines each year. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record to make landfall, left more than 7,300 people dead and missing as it leveled entire villages and swept walls of seawater into parts of the central Philippines.

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