Typhoon Mangkhut kills at least 16 in Philippines

Source Supplied

Source Supplied

Super Typhoon Mangkhut reached the Philippines Friday and will move west to China and Vietnam.

Evacuation of several thousand has been taking place in Philippines, as 4 million residents in the north brace for the direct hit of this mammoth Typhoon.

Determined not to see a repeat of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6000 people in the central Philippines in 2013, officials had evacuated more than 105,000 people to temporary shelters before Typhoon Mangkhut hit.

Presidential Communications Operation Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said that Duterte is just waiting for the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) so that he can fly to the affected areas.

The Philippine News Agency reported that strong winds and rains hit Laoag City, the capital of the Philippines' province of Ilocos Norte, on the evening of September 14, and more than 2,000 people living in low-lying areas in Ilocos Norte had evacuated.

The typhoon made landfall before dawn in the coastal town of Baggao in Cagayan province on the northern tip of Luzon island, an agricultural region of flood-prone rice plains and mountain provinces often hit by landslides.

In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Tate's Cairn, Waglan Island and Cheung Chau were 114, 94 and 63 kilometers per hour with maximum gusts 149, 113 and 98 kilometers per hour respectively. Though it is likely to weaken from a super typhoon to a severe typhoon, it will still be packing sustained winds of 109 miles per hour, it said.

They'll fly from Manila once the weather improves, Lorenzana said, carrying aid and allowing rescuers to reach remote areas of the mountainous north.

Northern Luzon was also devastated in 2016 by Super Typhoon Haima - known as Lawin locally - with 14,000 houses destroyed and 50,000 damaged, according to CNN Philippines.

Mangkhut will keep to a northwesterly track, bringing heavy rain and winds when it enters the autonomous region of Guangxi early on Monday, before weakening into a tropical depression as it arrives in southwestern Yunnan on Tuesday.

Residents stand by a flooded road following the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut in Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province.

"Representatives from relevant bureaus and departments also reported their preparatory work and contingency plans, particularly on measures in the prevention and handling of flooding, backflow of seawater and emergency plans for high-risk locations", a government statement read.

Originally a super typhoon billed as the strongest storm of 2018, it lost some of its strength on landfall.

The passing of powerful Mangkhut over the plants, both under 250 km away from Hong Kong, threatens the possibility of damage to their nuclear reactors.

Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu said city authorities should "prepare for the worst".

The typhoon is heading for the southern part of China after leaving at least 7 people dead in the Philippines.

"Because Mangkhut will bring winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity, our preparation and response efforts will be greater than in the past", Lee told a briefing on Friday.

Almost 37 million people are estimated to be in the storm's path, according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

As the storm is on pace to hit China's southern coast on Sunday, Cathay Pacific warned travellers that it expected more than 400 flight cancellations over the next three days.

More than 500 flights have been canceled affecting some 96,000 passengers, according to the South China Morning Post.

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