(CNN)Officials in the Philippines warned that Typhoon Haima, which made landfall late Wednesday, could be even stronger than Haiyan in 2013, which left more than 6,000 dead.
"We must therefore brace ourselves for the possible effects of a typhoon of this magnitude," Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a statement. Haima is the second powerful storm to pound the Philippines this week. It hit Cagayan province on the northeastern end of the archipelago around 11 p.m. local time. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded it from a super typhoon before it made landfall.
Its winds of 220 kilometers per hour (137 mph) winds put it on par with a Category 4 hurricane, the center said. It's expected to affect as many as 2.7 million people in seven provinces before veering northwest toward the Chinese coast by Friday. It is blasting the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rainfall that could trigger landslides in the mountainous region of the northern island of Luzon. At its peak, Haima had winds of up to 315 kilometers per hour (195 mph), the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It is the third-strongest typhoon of the season, behind Nepartak and Meranti, both of which lashed Taiwan and China.