Typhoon takes aim at northern Philippines

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 16, 2015 3:56 AM

MANILA (Reuters) - A typhoon was heading straight for the main Philippine island of Luzon on Friday, prompting storm alerts in nearly 20 provinces and placing army and police units on standby.

With center winds of 130 kph (80 mph), Typhoon Koppu was about 585 km (360 miles) east of northeast Aurora province and moving west at 15 kph.

Tropical Storm Risk forecast it would gain strength overnight.

"We have placed military and emergency workers on alert," Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said.

An average of 22 typhoons hit the Philippines every year. In late 2013, super typhoon Haiyan, the strongest-ever to hit land, struck central areas, killing more than 6,300 people and leaving millions homeless.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Nick Macfie)