Tropical Storm Megi further intensified as it approaches the country and is forecast to enter Philippine territory late Friday night or early Saturday morning. The storm is also expected to bring Ondoy-like rains to affected areas.
Officials from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) also said at a press conference in Quezon City that Megi will make landfall between Isabela and Cagayan provinces Monday afternoon.
Megi, which will be codenamed "Juan" once inside Philippine territory, was spotted 1,300 kilometers east of southern Luzon as of 10 a.m.
The storm, the tenth to hit the country this year, was monitored to be packing maximum sustain winds of 105 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.
Nathaniel Servando, PAGASA deputy director for research and development, said Megi is expected to intensify into a typhoon in the next two days, with winds reaching beyond 150 kph.
"Landfall is based on the eye of the storm, but its circulation could be felt [as early as] Sunday afternoon in the two provinces [where it will make landfall]," he said.
Meanwhile, Secretary Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology also warned that Megi could bring rains as much as that of storm Ondoy (Ketsana), the killer typhoon that triggered floods that left hundreds dead and millions of pesos in damages in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in September 2009.
Weather officials earlier said that the rainfall brought by Ondoy last year was the most in recorded history, surpassing the previous record for the metropolis in 1967. (See: Epic flood in Metro Manila caused by record rainfall)
Weather forecasters also discouraged sea travelers to sail in the affected areas as early as Sunday morning.
PAGASA said it will continue issuing weather bulletins every six hours, but will post hourly updates on its Twitter account which is expected to be activated within the day. —LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV