Typhoon Mirinae is on target to make landfall in northern Philippines Friday night or early Saturday, EDT. Mirinae has the potential to unleash devastating winds near the site of landfall as well as flooding rain over a wider area. All this, even as fears rise that one of Earth's most restless volcanos could soon erupt not far from the storm's forecast path.
As of Wednesday evening, EDT, the eye of Mirinae was 750 miles to the east of Manila while tracking to the west at 17 mph over the open Philippine Sea. Highest sustained winds have risen to between 100 and 105 mph, or within the threshold for Category 2 status.
The likely site of late-week typhoon landfall will be on the eastern shore of northern Luzon Island. It is here that the most severe wind and storm tide impact would take place. Flooding rain will be possible over a wider area right across northern Luzon spanning areas devastated by two earlier typhoons.
The northern Philippines has suffered devastation in the aftermath of two major typhoons, Ketsana and Parma, during the last two months. Ketsana swamped greater Manila with 10-20 inches of flooding rain during September. Then Parma tore through northern Luzon with destructive winds and extreme flooding rainfall that triggered landslides.
As if the threat of a typhoon were not enough for the island nation, a notoriously active volcano is now stirring, raising fears of an eruption by Mount Mayon in southeastern Luzon. Up to 300,000 people could be evacuated in the Philippines as a typhoon and possible volcanic activity threaten the area.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said that a lava dome has already formed in the crater of Mayon Volcano on the island of Luzon, according to RSOE. Unstable rock on the crater rim has also been cited as an imminent hazard.
Officials fear that volcanic activity together with any heavy rain could trigger lahars, which are mudslides associated with volcanic mountains. Distinguished from regular mudslides, lahars contain volcanic minerals and have the consistency of wet concrete, according to the United States Geological Survey.