MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm "Lawin" continues to intensify as it remains over the East Philippine Sea, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
PAGASA said at 10 a.m., Lawin was spotted 600 kilometers (kms) east of Virac, Catanduanes.
The weather bureau said the storm intensified, now packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up 90 kph.
It maintained its speed of 11 kph, but changed its direction to west southwest.
Speaking to radio dzMM, PAGASA forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said if the storm maintains its direction, it will make landfall in Bicol region or eastern Visayas.
Based on its current speed and direction, Lawin is expected to be 415 kms east of Legazpi City, Albay on Saturday morning.
Aurelio, however, said it is also possible for Lawin to have the same direction taken by typhoon "Karen." He said the storm may hit land and then move in a northward direction.
Meanwhile, the storm is expected to dump 10 to 20 millimeters per hour (moderate - intense) of rains within its 600-km diameter.
PAGASA, however, noted that Lawin remains far enough to directly affect any part of the country.