Authorities in Eastern Visayas and Southern Luzon were advised on Tuesday to “stand guard” and be ready for a possible stormy Easter as Typhoon Maysak continues to intensify as it approaches the Philippines.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd called on local government officials to be ready for the typhoon.
“The weather disturbance may still be far away but we have to be ready and on alert for its possible onslaught,” Roxas said.
Maysak formed two weeks ago after severe tropical cyclone Pam slammed into Vanuatu, causing widespread damage and leaving 11 people dead in the South Pacific island nation.
National Weather Service meteorologist Derek Williams said Tuesday afternoon that Maysak is expected to hit the Philippines on Sunday or Monday.
“Its official track has it straight toward Luzon,” he added.
Williams said the storm is expected to weaken significantly when it gets to the Philippine Sea but it is still expected to cause widespread damage there such as flooding.
Neville Koop, a meteorologist with Fiji’s Na Draki weather service, said at its peak Typhoon Maysak would have winds of 270 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 340 kph.
“This typhoon will be very destructive,” Koop told Agence France-Presse. “At its peak, Typhoon Maysak will be as strong as Cyclone Pam.”
Pagasa, the state weather forecaster of the Philippines, said it was too early to say if the latest typhoon would likely affect the country but that it would reassess the situation when the storm entered its area of responsibility on Wednesday or Thursday.
As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, Pagasa said Maysak had intensified further as it approached the country, but is still not expected to immediately affect the Philippines until the weekend.
It added that the typhoon packed maximum winds of 175 kph and gustiness of 210 kph and is forecast to move west-northwest at 20 kph.
“This typhoon is still too far to affect any part of the country. It is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility [Wednesday] evening or Thursday early morning and will be named Chedeng [once it enters PAR],” Pagasa said.
Pagasa weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said once Maysak enters PAR, it will not yet directly affect the country but will bring rains and winds by Friday or Saturday over Northern Luzon or Central Luzon.
The typhoon is expected to make a landfall in Northern Luzon but if its movement recurve, it will not make a landfall.