(AA) – The Philippines is bracing for the fourth typhoon headed for the archipelago this year amid expectations of it making landfall over the weekend.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in an advisory that as of 10 a.m. (0300GMT) Friday, the typhoon’s center was located 480 kilometers east northeast of Eastern Samar province, and headed west northwest at 17 kilometers per hour.
Typhoon Noul currently has maximum sustained winds of 150 kph with gusts of up to 185 kph.
The islands of Samar and Leyte in the central Philippines were the hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded that left more than 8,000 people dead, missing and injured after smashing the region in 2013.
The weather agency’s forecaster Chris Perez announced Friday a possibility that Noul would not make landfall, but warned that the Philippines – including the area of capital Manila — would still be affected due to the storm’s 300 km radius.
The Philippines suffers around 20 typhoons and storms each year, many of them deadly.