MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Chebi was on course to hit the northeastern Philippines early Saturday, promising to become the second to slam the country in as many weeks.
Authorities upgraded Chebi from a tropical storm on Friday and told residents to brace for possible floods and landslides.
Approaching from the Philippine Sea, Chebi, was packing maximum winds of 75 miles per hour and gusts of up to 93 mph, a Category 1 typhoon.
Philippine weather bureau forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said it might intensify into a Category 5 super typhoon.
Chebi was forecast to make landfall in northeastern Aurora province on Saturday morning and move across the rice-growing provinces of Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija, the Philippine weather bureau said.
At least 16 northeastern provinces were placed under a storm alert because of rains, winds and rough waters.
Many of the areas had suffered damage last week when Typhoon Cimaron slammed the same region, leaving 15 people dead in flash flood and landslides. It came on the heels of Typhoon Xangsane, which left 230 people dead and missing in and around Manila in late September.
About 20 typhoons and tropical storms lash the country each year. Chebi, which means swallow in Korean, is the 17th this season.