Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions in Philippines braced for storm

Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions in Philippines braced for storm

"Although there are still uncertainties in the subsequent track of Mangkhut and its distance from Hong Kong, Mangkhut's extensive circulation will bring significantly deteriorating weather to Hong Kong on Sunday with frequent heavy squally showers".

"What's happening now is pre-emptive evacuation in certain areas", said Manuel Mamba, governor of the northeastern province of Cagayan, where schools and offices were closed and police, military and coastguard told to be ready.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, known as Super Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, is now equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane, with winds of at least 252 kilometers per hour (157 mph), stronger than Florence, which is expected to cause massive flooding and devastation in the Carolinas. Moreover, Mangkhut will be the first storm to become a Typhoon of Category 5.

Mangkhut has already swept past the United States territory of Guam, in the western Pacific, where it caused flooding and power outages.

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The Pacific Daily News reported government agencies were conducting damage assessments and beginning to clear roads.

On Guam, the typhoon knocked down houses, power lines and trees, with around 88 per cent of the island having electricity by Thursday morning. He said classes will be suspended and offices, except those involved in rescue and relief work, advised to close on Friday.

A super typhoon roared toward the Philippines on Thursday, prompting thousands to evacuate ahead of its heavy rains and fierce winds that are set to strike at the weekend before moving on to China.

"I'm stressing that this one is very different, this is more complicated because of possible storm surges", Mamba said, referring to giant waves whipped inland by a typhoon.

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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.

President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled his Thursday plan to board a navy ship in Bataan in central Luzon to conduct a missile test.

Although there are still uncertainties about its trajectory, it is expected that Mangkhut will bring adverse weather to the regions of Macau, Hong Kong and the coastal cities of southern China.

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. Nevertheless, the forecast path could continue to be revised over the coming days, with September 15 being the date that the storm comes closest to the country.

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