Thousands evacuated in the Philippines ahead of super typhoon Mangkhut

13 September, 2018, 12:13 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm, mammoth rains likely

Known as Ompong in the Philippines, the typhoon is expected to barrel through the northern and central parts of Luzon - the most populous island of the nation and where its capital Manila is - from early Thursday to Friday, a weather forecaster from Filipino weather agency PAGASA told The Philippine Star.

Forecasters said Wednesday that Typhoon Mangkhut, which was churning 1,190 kilometres (738 miles) in the Pacific off the eastern Philippines with sustained winds of 205 kilometres per hour (127 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 255 kph (158 mph), could make landfall in northern Cagayan province on Saturday. Its high winds and torrential rains could cause widespread damage to islands and coastal areas.

The country's deadliest storm on record is super typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 5,000 people and affected millions in 2013.

Governor Manuel Mamba of the Philippines island of Cagayan said officials would start evacuating islanders on September 13.

It is now barreling across the Pacific Ocean with wind gusts of more than 178 mph an hour (287 kph). At this stage 10 million people lie in the path of the major storm.

Mangkhut is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and is considered one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.

Multiple Hong Kong airlines, including flag carrier Cathay Pacific, have announced they will waive charges for rebooking or re-routing flights arriving or departing the city during the worst of the storm.


The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year is threatening the farmlands in Northern Luzon just before the rice and corn harvest.

"As Mangkhut has a large circulation with intense winds, it will pose considerable threat to the coast of Guangdong", according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

A missile test aboard a navy ship to be attended by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte off northern Bataan province was cancelled due to the storm.

The Hong Kong Observatory said Mangkhut is expected to reach China's southeastern coast on Sunday.

The civil defence office in Manila said towns and cities on Mangkhut's path are preparing government buildings as evacuation centres, stockpiling food and other emergency rations, and preparing rescue teams and equipment.

The storm approaches the Phillipines as hurricane Florence will make landfall on the south-east coast of the USA later this week.

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