Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) made landfall over Baganga town in Davao Oriental before 5 a.m. Tuesday, even as 24 areas were placed under Storm Signal No. 3.
PAGASA forecaster Bernie de Leon said the typhoon did not immediately weaken upon landfall but may do so as it interacts with the land mass.
"Nag-landfall ito 4:45 a.m. sa Baganga," de Leon said in an interview on dzBB radio.
He said 27 mm of rain (heavy) had been recorded in the first three hours of Tuesday.
De Leon said the typhoon's path may include Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, Sulu Sea, then exit via Palawan as early as Thursday night.
Related story: Typhoon smashes into Philippines
As of 4 a.m., PAGASA said Typhoon Pablo was estimated at 40 km east of the eastern coast of Davao Oriental, with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.
It said Typhoon Pablo was moving at 26 kph and is expected to be 180 km southwest of Roxas City by Wednesday morning.
By Thursday morning it is expected to be 230 km northwest of Puerto Princesa City. By Friday morning it is expected to be 780 km west of Metro Manila.
Areas under Storm Signal No. 3 include:
Southern Leyte Bohol Negros Oriental Siquijor Southern Cebu Surigao del Norte Siargao Surigao del Sur Dinagat Province Agusan del Norte Agusan del Sur Misamis Oriental Camiguin Bukidnon Davao Oriental Compostela Valley North Cotabato Lanao del Sur Lanao del Norte Misamis Occidental Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga del Sur Davao del Norte Samal Island
Under Signal No. 2 are:
Rest of Cebu Camotes Island Iloilo Guimaras Capiz Leyte Biliran Negros Occidental Davao del Sur Sultan Kudarat Zamboanga Sibugay Maguindanao
Under Storm Signal No. 1 are:
Palawan Calamian Group Of Islands Ticao Island Masbate Northern Samar Eastern Samar Western Samar Aklan Antique Basilan Sarangani South Cotabato
PAGASA said Typhoon Pablo may bring rainfall of 15 to 30 mm per hour (heavy to intense) within its 600-km diameter.
In other news: NASA: The world will not end on December 21, 2012
It advised residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under storm signals to be alert against possible flash floods and landslides.
Residents in coastal areas under public storm warning signals 2 and 3 were also warned against storm surges particulary in the coastal areas of Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat, Bohol and Leyte provinces.
Waves in these areas may reach three to six meters, it said.
Fishing boats and other small seacrafts were also advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao.
PAGASA said strong to gale force winds associated with the surge of the northeast monsoon may affect the northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon.
Also, it said Mindanao, Central Visayas, Leyte provinces, Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Capiz, Guimaras and Biliran will experience stormy weather with rough to very rough seas.
The rest of Eastern and Western Visayas, Masbate including Ticao island and Palawan including Calamian group of islands will have rain with gusty winds with moderate to rough seas.
Also read: Soaring stock market earns thumbs-up for PH
The rest of MIMAROPA and Bicol region will be cloudy with light to moderate rain showers or thunderstorms.
Cagayan valley and CAR will have cloudy skies with light rains while Metro Manila and the rest of the Luzon will be partly cloudy with brief rain showers or thunderstorms.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over the rest of the country with moderate to rough seas. — With a report from Shaira Panela/KG, GMA News
China has accused the Philippines of violating a 13-year-old informal code of conduct in the South China Sea with its building work on disputed islets, firing back again after repeated criticism of China's own construction work. China and the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an agreement in 2002 to refrain from occupying uninhabited reefs and shoals in the sea, and from building new structures that would complicate disputes. In a statement just before midnight …