A tropical storm has slammed into the Philippines' eastern coast, the first of the season to hit the country as it prepares for the Easter holiday.
The storm, with the local name Agaton, made landfall over Calicoan Island off Eastern Samar province, 659 kilometres south of the capital Manila.
It intensified overnight into Palm Sunday, the weather bureau said.
It was now packing maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h and gusts of up to 105 km/h, while moving west-north-west at 10 km/h, the bureau said.
Storm signal warnings were raised over several eastern and central provinces, where Agaton was expected to bring heavy to intense rains throughout the day.
The coast guard suspended sea travel in the affected provinces, stranding hundreds of passengers on the way home to the provinces ahead of the Holy Week break.
The weather bureau warned that "rough to very rough seas" were expected in the affected areas, and "these conditions may be risky for most seacraft".
Aside from Agaton, the weather bureau was monitoring tropical storm Malakas, which was expected to enter the Philippines' area on Monday or Tuesday but not expected to make landfall.
It was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h and gusts of up to 90 km/h, while moving northwest at 20 km/h, the bureau said.
The Philippine archipelago is hit by an average of 20 tropical cyclones every year.
The strongest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6300 people and displaced more than four million in November 2013.
Australian Associated Press
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