Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions at risk as cyclone hurtles towards Philippines

Pauline Gross
September 13, 2018

It's expected to be 135 nautical miles (250 kilometers) off Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan on September 15 before heading to Hong Kong, according to the USA agency.

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.

On Guam, a USA territory, residents woke up on Tuesday to flooded streets, downed trees and widespread power outages after Mangkhut passed through overnight.

The Social Welfare Bureau president, Vong Yim Mui, speaking on the sidelines on the opening ceremony of the "Hato Education Sponsorship Fund", said that Macau is prepared for the upcoming typhoon and that all 16 shelters running under the Bureau's supervision "are already prepared and ready to enter into operation as soon as the government decides".

The charity estimates three million people in the country live in the direct path of Mangkhut. "According to the forecast track, it's going to maintain a super typhoon status for the rest of its journey to the South China Sea".

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Teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross were placed on high alert in northern Luzon, where the storm is expected to make landfall on Saturday morning.

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. Cathay Pacific encouraged passengers travelling this weekend to and from Hong Kong to re-book and the airline would waive the fees. The storm was last situated 1,845 kilometers east of Southern Luzon.

The storm may damage as many as 156,793 metric tons of rough rice and 257,100 metric tons of corn in the Philippines worth as much as 13.5 billion pesos ($250 million), Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol wrote on his Facebook account Tuesday.

Floods, landslides and huge waves could put millions at risk as Typhoon Mangkhut hurtles towards the Philippines and Hong Kong. According to HKO, the storm is expected to skirt around 100 to 200 kilometers (62 to 124 miles) south of Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon, bringing strong winds and rain. Wu said that the intensity level of Mangkhut is stronger than that of Florence. The remnants of the storm will still be in the area as Mangkhut arrives Sunday, bringing no relief to Hong Kongers from the weather.

Other reports by GizPress

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