(Bloomberg) -- The first storm to hit the Philippines this year strengthened as it crossed provinces and moved closer to the capital, threatening to intensify into a typhoon before leaving the Southeast Asian nation on Wednesday.

Tropical storm Aghon is moving northwestward with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour, and was over the municipality of Dolores in Quezon province in the main Luzon island as of the weather bureau’s 8 a.m. Sunday bulletin.

About 7,000 passengers were stranded in various seaports, while some flights were also canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions, according to the coast guard and the airport authorities.

The two lowest wind signals were hoisted in dozens of areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila. Gusts under these alerts can bring down wooden electric posts and trees, and damage light structures. Flooding and landslides are possible in some areas and conditions on coastal waters are dangerous for smaller sea crafts, the agency said.

The Philippines has an average of 20 tropical cyclones a year, making it one of the world’s worst-hit countries.

(Recasts lead, updates location and possible impact in second and third.)

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