MANILA - 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 (155 mph) as it makes landfall on Monday.
Typhoon Megi would be felt on Sunday 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 570 km (355 miles) east of northern Luzon and moving at 24 kph westward toward Cagayan province, had winds of 160 kph (100 mph) near its center and gusts nearing 200 kph, government weather forecaster Anthony Lucero said on Sunday.
"It is not likely to hit Metro Manila," 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 on Sunday and could dump rains as heavy as typhoon Ketsana, which inundated 80 percent 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. The typhoon, the 10th and strongest to hit the country this year, was expected to reach northern Luzon on Monday morning and head out to the South China Sea on Tuesday, moving toward China.
In July, a typhoon killed 102 people. It unexpectedly changed direction and sliced through Manila, cutting power across the sprawling metropolis of 12 million people, prompting President Benigno Aquino to sack the chief weather forecaster.