Typhoon Mangkhut bears down on millions in Philippines

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2018

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Northern Luzon and Central Luzon should brace for strong winds and heavy rains as typhoon "Mangkhut" is expected to enter Philippine territory Wednesday noon.

As per the state weather bureau, Mangkhut is likely to threaten Northern Luzon and is expected to cross the Cagayan-Batanes area by Saturday and still remain as a typhoon.

Ompong is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, expected to peak at gusts of up to 270 kilometers per hour on Thursday before easing to still unsafe velocities as it approaches land, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

The storm is forecast to make landfall in southern China early on Monday morning.

Ten million people are in the path of the storm, along with millions more in coastal areas of southern China. Cathay Pacific encouraged passengers travelling this weekend to and from Hong Kong to re-book and the airline would waive the fees.

The Hong Kong Observatory warned residents to prepare for the storm, saying it posed a "considerable threat".

The government, however, said it would remain on high alert and would be prepared for any changes in direction.

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Schools and offices are being closed and farmers are racing to save crops. The Philippines has been trying to cope with rice shortages.

"The worst cases are those areas which will be directly hit by strong winds that can topple houses, storm surges and heavy rains that can cause flooding, and there may be landslides in higher areas", Jalad told reporters.

After the passage of typhoon Barijat yesterday, which caused no damage or significant disruption to the city's daily activities, the region is already preparing for another storm - typhoon Mangkhut - one that has already been classified as a super typhoon and is now heading toward the South China coast.

The country's deadliest on record is Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in November 2013.

The eye of the typhoon was forecast to go through the northern tip of Luzon, the main Philippine island, on Friday, he added.

Last year, Super Typhoon Hato caused - a No.10 signal storm - hit Hong Kong, causing an estimated HK$4-8 billion loss and forcing over 450 flights to be cancelled.

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Florence.

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