MANILA, Philippines—A potential typhoon is churning toward the Philippines and is expected to bring foul weather to a large portion of the country starting Tuesday, according to the state weather agency.
A tropical storm called Songda, which formed near Guam last week, continued its approach toward the eastern seaboard on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.
The storm, according to Pagasa’s advisory, has been forecast to enter the country’s boundaries on Sunday night and would be locally code-named Chedeng. It would be the third tropical cyclone of the year and the second this month after tropical storm Bebeng.
As of Sunday morning, Songda was seen 1,070 kilometers east of Mindanao. The agency said the tropical storm was carrying 85 kilometer winds that were gusting at 100 kph. It was traveling west northwest at 11 kph.
Pagasa noted that it has been closely monitoring the cyclone as it has been growing stronger and could be destructive.
Robert Sawi, Pagasa’s chief forecaster, said the storm could become a typhoon upon entering the country, and could intensify in the next few days to over 100 kph, Sawi said.
Sawi noted that he was worried about the storm’s sluggish approach to land, noting that this was giving the storm more time to consolidate and gather strength.
Sawi also feared that if it did not accelerate while nearing the country, the regions in its path would suffer longer and heavier downpour.
“This was like Bebeng. That was slow, too, and I said the provinces that were affected by that typhoon would suffer heavy rains,” he explained.
The agency said it has notified the disaster councils of the approaching storm because of the strength of the weather disturbance, to give them time to prepare their evacuation plans.
Pagasa said the storm could hit eastern Visayas or the Cagayan province on Tuesday.
Pagasa added that the northeast and Central Luzon would also be on the path of the storm, which could make a landfall there, Sawi said.
Other parts of the country would also experience heavy rains brought by the potential typhoon.
Metro Manila and the western seaboard would be under rainshower and thunderstorms by Wednesday or Thursday although these areas would not be hit by the disturbance, Sawi said.
The Pagasa official said the storm could suck in and enhance the southwest monsoon, which has been bringing sudden rains and thunderstorms in the city and surrounding provinces in the past few days.