Philippine authorities warned the public yesterday to take precautions for what could be the most powerful storm to hit the country this year.
Packing gusts of up to 22km per hour, Typhoon Bopha was 1,000km southeast of the Philippines as of yesterday morning and forecast to make landfall between tomorrow and Wednesday, the state weather bureau said.
Heavy rain from the advancing storm was expected to hit the central Visayas region and the main southern island of Mindanao from yesterday night, it said.
“This is a powerful storm, perhaps the strongest this year, and we enjoin everyone to take precautionary measures,” the head of the country’s civil defense office, Benito Ramos, told reporters.
He said local governments in the areas likely to be soaked by heavy rains had been advised to undertake precautionary evacuations if needed, though none has been ordered so far.
The Philippines is battered by about 20 typhoons a year, some of them destructive. Bopha is the 16th so far this year.
In August, nearly 100 people were killed and more than a million were displaced by heavy flooding caused by a series of storms.
Nineteen typhoons struck the country last year, of which 10 were destructive, leading to more than 1,500 deaths and affecting nearly 10 percent of the total population, according to the government.