Super Typhoon ‘Mangkhut’ strikes northern Philippines

16 September, 2018, 01:21 | Author: Myra Gill
  • TyphoonPhilippines

Typhoon Mangkhut has slammed into the northern Philippines, unleashing ferocious winds and blinding rain in a region where authorities have been rushing to evacuate tens of thousands of people from high-risk areas.

Mangkhut's sustained winds weakened to 170 kilometers (105 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 260 kph (161 mph) after it sliced across Luzon Island's flood-prone rice plains and mountain provinces toward the South China Sea, aiming at southern China and Hong Kong, where residents braced for the worst.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

The governor of Isabela, Bojie Dy, said 1,542 families (5,429 people) had been evacuated from coastal areas in his province.

Philippine authorities have said they are better prepared than in 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan devastated central areas of the country and killed 6,300 people.

"Everyone is scared of the typhoon this time, very scared", a shop owner from a fishing village in Hong Kong said.

Three people have already died as one of the strongest typhoons in the history of the Philippines makes landfall.

Workers remove branches of a tree blown by strong winds after Typhoon Mangkhut hit the city of Tuguegarao, Cagayan province, north of Manila, Philippines early on September 15, 2018.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to affect up to five million people.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte held a meeting Thursday of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), where it was made a decision to put in place extra emergency procedures ahead of the storm.

At daybreak in Cagayan's capital, Tuguegarao, Associated Press journalists saw a severely damaged public market, its roof ripped apart and wooden stalls and tarpaulin canopies in disarray.


Wong said officials hoped to send elderly people living alone in Tai O to shelters on Saturday afternoon while buses would also be arranged to help residents in parts of Tuen Mun and Yuen Long to move away.

"We really learned a lot from the Haiyan experience", Catherine Cabarles, a school teacher in Quezon City, told NPR before Mangkhut arrived.

Farmers in the region, which produces a significant portion of the Philippines' corn and rice, were rushing to bring in crops that could be destroyed by flooding.

Tens of thousands of people were stranded in various ports in Luzon and the Visayas while thousands of families were also forced to flee their houses over warnings that the weather disturbance is packing a strong wind nearly similar to typhoon Yolanda.

Hong Kong is expected to start feeling strong winds and heavy rain today, growing in intensity as the storm draws ever closer.

The change won't make much difference because of the typhoon's massive size, he said.

As it exits the Philippines, typhoon Mangkhut is predicted to hit Hong Kong on Sunday.

Cathay Pacific said all of its flights would be canceled between 2:30 a.m. local time on Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday.

You can find all the latest images from Typhoon Mangkhut here as the storm hits today.

Once it passes over the Philippines, Mangkhut will continue west through the Luzon Strait into the South China Sea, making expected landfall early Sunday in southern China.

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