Thousands of people have fled their homes in central Philippines as category 5 typhoon Hagupit is expected to hit the country at at the weekend.

Some ports were also closed leaving at least 2,000 people stranded in the capital Manila and other areas in the south, Reuters reported.

News of the impending typhoon caused panic-buying and the closing of schools and offices, leaving the government considering whether to declare a state of national calamity.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific cancelled some of their flights to central and southern Philippines.

The precautionary measures were taken as some areas of the island nation are yet to recover from another category 5 typhoon, Haiyan - also known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda - which killed more than 6,300 people and left at least 80,000 displaced in November 2013.

"It's better to evacuate early...We don't want to experience what we went through during Yolanda," said Gigi Calne, a housewife seeking shelter with about 3,000 others at a school in Basey, in Samar province, in central Philippines.

"We want to bring in a lot more supplies to cut down on panic buying," President Benigno Aquino said at a meeting of his disaster command at the main military base in Manila.

He also ordered the trade department to send more food supplies to areas at risk.

Referring to the capital of Leyte province in the central Philippines, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said: "Many stores have closed in Tacloban. I think everybody is panicking at this point."