MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Disaster relief personnel, equipment and goods have been readied as the Philippines braces for Typhoon Koppu, which is forecast to make landfall this weekend in northern Isabela province, officials said Friday.
Government weather forecaster Adzar Aurelio said the typhoon was packing winds of 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour with gusts up to 160 kph (99 mph). It was still 520 kilometers (323 miles) west of the Philippines but moving steadily toward land.
Aurelio says that as Koppu moves closer to land its winds will likely to intensify to 185 kph (115 mph). It may hit land Saturday evening or early Sunday, and could linger in the country for several days, dumping heavy rains.
The national disaster relief agency said that provincial disaster operations centers had been activated, the military has placed personnel and equipment on standby, and social welfare departments have readied funds and relief goods.
Koppu will be the 12th storm or typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. Most cause little damage, but in 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most ferocious storms on record to hit land, devastated large areas of the central Philippines, leaving more than 7,300 people dead.