Typhoon Noul hit the north-east Philippines Sunday in Cagayan province, about 250 miles north of the capital Manila. It was the strongest storm to hit the islands this year.
Two people were killed, but casualties are expected to be low because most people followed evacuation orders. Nearly 7,000 dies when Haiyan struck the centre of the island group in 2013.
Nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Ferry services are suspended, leaving more than 5,000 passengers and 100 vessels stranded on the eastern coastline.
The typhoon is now heading towards southern Japan and is expected to arrive there on Tuesday, with Taiwan possibly suffering some peripheral impact en route.
Catastrophe modeller AIR Worldwide said that in the Philippines lighter materials, were often used for residential buildings in rural areas, while in urban residential areas structures were generally made of concrete block with metal roofs. In the Luzon area, one- to two-story buildings of mixed construction (concrete and wood) are common. Building codes are not strictly enforced.
Okinawa in Japan is relatively well-prepared for typhoons, although infrastructure such as power lines remains vulnerable. Flooding is also a threat to low-lying buildings.
The route of the typhoon is subject to variability, but the latest projection has it running along the eastern side of Japan, bringing strong winds and rain to Tokyo on Wednesday.