Manila, OCTOBER 31: Typhoon Goni is expected to hit the Philippines earlier than expected on Sunday as it continues to gather strength, according to the Philippine Tropical Cyclone Advisories website.
The storm may be upgraded to a super typhoon in the next 12 hours and could make landfall in the eastern provinces of Catanduanes and Camarines early Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in its 8 a.m. advisory. The typhoon was earlier predicted to reach the Philippines in the afternoon.
Goni’s winds are forecast to hit 185 to 215 kilometers (115 to 134 miles) an hour as it moves inland. The cyclone comes days after Typhoon Molave lashed the country, leaving at least 22 dead and causing a minimum of 1.81 billion pesos ($37.4 million) of damage to crops.
The Philippine weather bureau as of 2 p.m. placed Catanduanes province and parts of Camarines and Albay provinces under typhoon signal No. 3. Winds greater than 121 kilometers and up to 170 kilometers per hour are expected to hit these areas starting in at least 18 hours, it said.
Beginning early Sunday, Goni will bring heavy-to-intense rains over the central and southern provinces of Luzon island, including Manila, the state weather bureau said. The centre of the storm was 410 kilometers east-northeast of Catanduanes as of 1 p.m. local time, with maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers an hour near the center and gusts of up to 265 kilometers per hour, it said.
The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center categorizes Goni as a super typhoon while at sea, according to its measurements. The storm will pass through Manila and most of the main island of Luzon, it said.
About 159,000 people in Camarines Norte began evacuating from high-risk areas on Friday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported, citing provincial authorities. Quezon, a neighboring province, has been placed under red alert, it said.
Another typhoon, Atsani, is forecast to enter Philippine territory Sunday but is less likely to bring severe weather over the next 3 days, according to the nation’s weather forecaster.
Goni is the world’s strongest typhoon this year with sustained winds of 285 kilometers per hour as of Friday, putting it at Category 5-equivalent strength and surpassing Hurricane Laura, which was Category 4 at its peak, the Weather Network reported.