World News

Ferocious Typhoon Barrels Through Rain-Soaked Philippines

Ferocious Typhoon Barrels Through Rain-Soaked Philippines

Super typhoon Mangkhut is approaching the Philippines with estimated 167 miles per hour winds and gusts to 200 miles per hour, threatening a devastating impact to the northern tip of the main island of Luzon when it makes landfall on Saturday.

Based on current projections, Hong Kong and Macau will potentially bear the worst of Mangkhut, which could be one of the strongest storms to hit Hong Kong in over six decades.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it expects "substantial damage" in the Philippines.

"There was plywood and shards of glass flying through the corridors", Reynolds told CNN. There are fears the typhoon could lead to flash flooding in more rural areas, triggering landslides.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said it was the strongest typhoon of the year - with storm surges that could rise to 6 metres.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba told CNN Philippines rainfall has been non-stop in the province for more than seven hours. Electricity posts are down and landlines aren't working.

As per the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) about 5.2 million people in 125 km radius will be exposed to Mangkhut.

The capital, Manila, and more than three dozen northern and central provinces have been placed under storm warning signals.

More than 4 million people live in areas at most risk from the storm, which the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii categorized as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane.

Philippine officials have begun evacuating thousands of people in the path of the most powerful typhoon this year, closing schools and readying bulldozers for landslides.

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Typhoon Mangkhut, known in the Philippines as Ompong, is the 15th storm to hit the Philippines this year.

"We are bracing for the worst here", said Lanelyn Carrillo, a spokeswoman for World Vision, a humanitarian organization.

As of Friday morning, 2,298 families had been preemptively evacuated from their homes in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera administrative regions in northern Luzon. Thousands of people had evacuated the area before the storm's landfall.

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. "We are preparing our emergency assets and relief items".

The New York Times reports Duterte has put the military on high alert, and barred troops from taking leave.

After passing the Philippines the island of Taiwan could receive strong storm force winds and heavy rains, following which it will be Hong Kong and mainland China that is on watch for future impacts.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut battered the Philippines with gales and torrential rains, toppling power lines, triggering landslides and damaging an airport before heading toward China's Guangdong coastline and Hong Kong. Mangkhut is the strongest storm formed in the Pacific along with being one of the deadliest in the history of Pacific Storms.

In Legazpi city in Albay province, evacuee Delaila Pasion said: "During the previous monsoon rains, half of our house was destroyed so I wanted to take my grandchildren to safety so they would not get hurt".

The fear of Mangkhut is remembered by the Philippians in the form of Typhoon Haiyan, which had caused huge damage in 2013 causing the death of more than 6,000. It caused widespread flooding and damage to property. Mangkhut is likely to make landfall as a Cat 5 Typhoon itself.


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