MANILA, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- After ramming the Philippines, Super Typhoon Haima is now looking to make a direct hit on Hong Kong, forecasters said Thursday.
The storm, which has been the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane, has weakened some but still packs enough power to make a hit on the Chinese territory dangerous.
Meteorologists said Thursday afternoon that Haima is packing 90 mph winds and heavy rain. Schools have been closed and flights canceled ahead of the storm.
Forecasters said Haima will be about 70 nautical miles from Hong Kong by Friday.
Haima, called Lawin by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, arrived in the Pacific islands just days after the country took a beating from Typhoon Sarika.
Thousands of people were evacuated from coastal areas before the storm hit, and some authorities were trying to send emergency personnel out to start clearing roads and take stock of the damage from the second storm to hit the nation in a week.
"We're receiving reports about damage to homes and to some standing crops," said Roda Valenzuela, country director for the U.S. nonprofit Heifer International. "But strong winds are still preventing us from going out into the fields to do further assessments."
In one province, Isabela, officials said there had been two deaths -- one was a man crushed by a fallen tree -- and the mayor of Tuguegarao City said wind from the storm had shattered windows at City Hall and peeled the roofs off of houses.
PAGASA predicted that as the storm moved off the northern coast of the Philippines moderate to heavy rains and wind would continue. The weakened storm is expected to move west-northwest toward China in during the next day.
Forecasters said Haima is almost as strong as Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013 and killed more than 6,000 people.