Typhoon barrels toward northern Philippines; 14 provinces on alert for strong winds, floods

A tropical storm barreling toward the northern Philippines has intensified into a typhoon with destructive winds and flooding rains threatening farmlands and populated areas, including the capital Manila.

Typhoon Nari forced U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to call off Friday's trip to the Philippines.

Authorities placed 14 provinces and metropolitan Manila under storm alert, closed schools and put emergency services on notice.

The typhoon is forecast to slam ashore in northeastern Aurora province later Friday or early Saturday with winds of 120 kilometers (74 miles) per hour and stronger gusts.

This is the rainy season and about two typhoons lash the Philippines every month.

About 30 people died last month in flash floods triggered by monsoon rains. Another 13 died this past week alone.