As the typhoon passed, he said that the anticipated storm surge in Legazpi "hadn't been an issue."

The storm cut across the main island of the Philippines, hitting numerous population centers across southern and central Luzon. 11 provinces lost power although some were cut off for precautionary measures.

The Philippines is hit by an average of eight or nine storms a year. Rammasun is the first to hit since last year's Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,250 people, left more than 1,000 missing and caused widespread destruction.

Rammasun heads towards China

As the storm continues on past the Philippines, conditions over the South China Sea favor intensification. The storm could be a Category 3 as it gains strength over the sea and nears southern China.

The storm is expected to brush the northern part of the Chinese island of Hainan on Friday evening local time (Friday morning ET) as a strong typhoon, likely still a Category 3.