x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Philippines braces for possible super typhoon

An approaching typhoon triggered warnings in 19 northern Philippines provinces with forecasters expecting it to intensify to a super typhoon.

An approaching typhoon triggered warnings in 19 northern Philippines provinces with forecasters expecting it to intensify to a super typhoon with winds in excess of 250 kph as it makes landfall on Monday.

Typhoon Megi would be felt today in the north of Luzon, a rice and corn growing area on the Philippines main island. Warnings were issued against sea travel and the government said Megi was expected to bring flash flooding, landslides and storm surges.

Megi, about 570km east of northern Luzon and moving at 24kph westward towards Cagayan province, had winds of 160kph near its centre and gusts nearing 200kph, government weather forecaster Anthony Lucero said.

"It is not likely to hit Metro Manila," Mr Lucero told a news conference. "... But once it makes landfall, Metro Manila residents may feel its effects because it is expected to affect a large area."

Megi could still develop into a super typhoon category late today and could dump rains as heavy as typhoon Ketsana, which inundated 80 per cent of Manila in 2009, Lucero said.

Tropical Storm Risk (http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com) forecast Megi would be a category 5 super typhoon as it hit land.