Manila: Several flights were cancelled while sea-faring vessels were warned of rough conditions with Typhoon Nanmadol (local codename: Mina) expected to make landfall in Northern Luzon this morning.

The weather bureau put the northeastern provinces of Isabela, Cagayan and Northern Aurora on alert level 3, warning the storm could pack wind speeds in excess of 175km/h. The adjacent provinces of Batanes, Calayan and Babuyan Island Group, Apayao, Kalinga, Quirino, and the rest of Aurora have been placed on typhoon alert level 2 (45-60km/h winds).

Gaining speed

According to Mario Palafox, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa), Nanmadol had picked up speed after appearing to be stationary for some time northeast of the Philippines.

Palafox said Nanmadol is already nearing the category of a "super typhoon" because of its powerful winds and the large area it is affecting.

Palafox advised residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signals, to be on alert for flash floods and landslides. Similarly, he warned those living near the coasts to be on guard for big waves and storm surges.

The Philippine Coast Guard for its part, warned seacraft of all sizes against setting sail.