MANILA - Typhoon Chedeng (international name Maysak) has entered the Philippine area of responsibility, state weather bureau PAGASA said late Wednesday night.
The typhoon is currently packing maximum sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 215 kph, PAGASA said.
It is carrying heavy to intense rainfall within its 150-200 km radius.
PAGASA said it will raise public storm warning signal number 1 over Bicol and Samar provinces within the next 18 hours.
"Hence, sea travel over these areas will be possibly suspended," PAGASA said in its 11:30 p.m. advisory.
The weather bureau expects Chedeng to make landfall over the eastern coast of Aurora, Quezon, or Isabela by late Saturday (April 4) to early Sunday (April 5).
"The public is alerted against possible flashfloods over low-lying areas and landslides along mountain slopes particularly over Aurora-Quezon area," PAGASA said. "Storm surges and sea surface waves of up to 4 meters are possible over the eastern coast of Samar, Bicol and Aurora-Quezon."
PAGASA advised fishermen not to venture out in the eastern seaboard of the Bicol region and the Visayas because of the typhoon.
Chedeng is expected to be 850 kilometers east of Legazpi City, Albay by Thursday night and 620 km east of Infanta, Quezon by Friday night.
LANDFALL AT TYPHOON STRENGTH
Although the typhoon is slowly weakening, it is still expected to make landfall over eastern Luzon at typhoon strength, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
It said the typhoon, which has a 28 km diameter eye, is weakening slightly because of dry air and moderate vertical wind shear.
"Because the system will impact Luzon as a significant typhoon, Maysak is expected to re-emerge in the South China Sea at typhoon strength," NOAA said in an advisory.
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Global Precipitation Measurement observatory satellites also flew above the typhoon and found rain falling at a rate of over 65 mm (2.6 inches) per hour.
The TRMM satellite found a powerful thunderstorm circulating on the western side of the typhoon that was reaching altitudes of over 13.4 kilometers.