Thousands are evacuated as the Philippines are hit by Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Posted September 13, 2018

Currently, Typhoon Mangkhut now has a wind speed of 170 kmph gusting up to 210 kmph near the eye of the storm as compared to the previous 160 kmph gusting to 195 kmph.

The typhoon is expected to dump moderate to heavy rains in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Norte and Batanes.

Thousands are evacuating seaside areas of the northern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, where the storm is expected to make landfall early Saturday. It can affect as many as 43.4 million people, according to the United Nation's Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

The Hong Kong government convened Wednesday afternoon an inter-departmental meeting that involved 30 government bureaux, departments and organisations.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. encouraged passengers travelling this weekend to and from Hong Kong to re-book and the airline will waive the fees.

She said seven million others are at risk in the country, with the typhoon expected to boost the intensity of seasonal monsoon rains that have already caused widespread flooding in central Luzon, a mainly farming region north of capital Manila.

Forecaster Meno Mendoza said Mangkhut's strong winds could whip up storm surges while heavy rain could trigger landslides and floods.

Florence set to become major hurricane, aims at US Southeast
Graham urged coastal residents to finish their planning before the arrival of tropical-storm-force windows on Wednesday. A Category 4 storm packs winds of 209 km/h or more and has the potential for catastrophic damage.

The center of Mangkhut will make its closest approach to Taipei on Sept 15 and Hong Kong on Sept 16. Government agencies were conducting damage assessments and clearing roads, according to the Pacific Daily News.

Philippines' Office of Civil Defence chief Ricardo Jalad said low-lying areas in northern regions would be evacuated on Thursday.

About 80% of the United States territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning. "This is more complicated because of possible storm surges", Mamba said on September 12.

The storm, which is the strongest to hit the Philippines this year, is also threatening farmlands in Luzon just before the rice and corn harvest. Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7300 people dead or missing and displaced over 5 million in the central Philippines in 2013.

Hong Kong had been bracing for a direct hit on September 12, but the typhoon warning was cancelled the morning of September 13, the Hong Kong Observatory announced, as forecasts tracked Mangkhut's path further south.

With winds that may gust up to 240km/h, Mangkhut is expected to be more powerful than the Super Typhoon Wanda that resulted in heavy casualties in 1962 and the Super Typhoon Hato, which triggered the highest level typhoon warning signal past year.