Philippine Authorities on Monday urged the public to be on alert and prepare for an incoming typhoon, but warned against false information that could trigger panic.
Typhoon Mangkhut, which was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kilomtres per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 170 kph, was forecast to enter the Philippines by Wednesday, the weather bureau said.
Government agencies have pre-positioned relief supplies while the cabinet was expected to discuss other contingency measures on Tuesday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
Amid reports that Mangkhut, which was battering Guam, could intensify into a super typhoon when it hits the northern Philippines, the weather bureau urged the public to refrain from believing unofficial information about the typhoon.
Social media has been filled with posts urging people to pray and predicting that Mangkhut will grow into a super typhoon that devastates the country.
Weather forecaster Ezra Bulquerin said Mangkhut “is a strong typhoon’’ but was not yet a super typhoon and there were still no confirmation that it would make landfall in the Philippines.
Ahead of Mangkhut, a tropical depression was battering the northern Philippines on Monday, with maximum sustained winds of 45 kph and gust of up to 60 kph, the weather bureau said.
The tropical depression, locally named Neneng, was moving south-southwest at 10 kph.
It was expected to exit the Philippines on Tuesday, but would continue to bring heavy rains over the northernmost province of Batanes.
The Philipines is hit by an average of 20 cyclones every year, causing floods, landslides and other accidents.
The strongest typhoon hit the country in November 2013, killing more than 6,300 people.
Typhoon Haiyan also displaced more than 4 million people