Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) on Friday increased speed, moving closer to landfall over northern Luzon.
The massive typhoon, which was tracked by instruments on board Japan's Himawari-8 satellite, can be seen barreling towards the coastline of the Aurora-Cagayan area.
State weather bureau PAGASA expects Ompong to make landfall between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday.
The typhoon, the strongest yet to hit the Philippines this year, was moving northwest at 30 kph as of 8 p.m., picking up from its speed of 25 kph on Friday afternoon.
Four areas, meanwhile, have been placed under signal number 4, the second highest tropical cyclone warning signal, as Ompong neared landfall on Friday night.
The tropical cyclone is expected to barrel through the northernmost tip of the Philippines Saturday morning, carrying 205 kph wind speeds, and gusts of up to 255 kph.
More than 9,000 people have been moved to temporary shelters as Ompong makes its way towards the rice- and corn-producing provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.
Disaster officials warned that tens of thousands more may need to be moved and weather forecasters warned of storm surges as high as six metres in coastal villages in the typhoon’s path.
Second and third contingents of rescue teams were being prepared, in case first-responders get into trouble themselves. - with a report from Reuters