Typhoon Kammuri has lashed the Philippines, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents and the closure of Manila's international airport as a safety precaution.

The storm made landfall at around 11pm on Sorsogon, the southernmost province of Luzon island, the government weather service PAGASA said.

Luzon, the country's largest island, is home to some 49 million people.

The typhoon packed maximum sustained winds of up to 175 km per hour and gusts of 240 km per hour after landfall, government meteorologists said.

The storm is forecast to pass to the south of the capital, which is hosting thousands of athletes for the regional Southeast Asian Games.

Officials at Manila's airport made the call to shut the facility once the storm's power was clear.

Villagers are evacuated in anticipation of an approaching typhoon in Legaspi city

"Based on our estimate, it will be closed from 1am to 11pm tomorrow, December 3," said Ed Monreal, general manager of Manila's airport authority.

Nearly 70,000 people fled their homes in the southern Bicol region, disaster officials said.

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

"The wind is howling. Roofs are being torn off and I saw one roof flying," said local Gladys Castillo Vidal. 

"We decided to stay because our house is a two-storey made of concrete... Hopefully it can withstand the storm."

The country's deadliest cyclone on record was 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan

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.

Kammuri already snarled some plans for the SEA Games featuring thousands of athletes from the region, which opened on Saturday and are set to run through 11 December in and around Manila.

The windsurfing competition was halted as a precaution and triathlon events were held earlier than scheduled.

Ramon Suzara, the chief operating officer of the organising committee, said contingency plans were in place for bad weather, but the duration of the Games would not be extended.

"Everything is set," Mr Suzara told reporters. "For contingency, all venues, all competition managers, technical delegates are ready."