Philippines: 10 million people in the path of Mangkhut

Geraldine Edwards
September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence, which is approaching the eastern United States and Super Typhoon Mangkhut which is heading towards the northern Philippines and may also hit Hong Kong.

The strong winds generated by Mangkut could cause storm surge and heavy rain could trigger landslides and floods.

Typhoon Mangkhut, which has already blasted through the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, is speeding across the Pacific with winds that can gust as high as 255 kilometres (160 miles) per hour.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System said the more than 27.3 million people will be exposed to the power of Mangkhut.

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

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Typhoon Mangkhut, packing winds of 255km/h (160mph), is due to make landfall on the northern tip of the main island of Luzon by the weekend.

PAGASA defines a super typhoon as a weather disturbance carrying more than 220 kilometers per hour (kph) of maximum center winds.

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.

According to Hong Kong Observatory, Mangkhut will enter the South China Sea on Saturday.

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".

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A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. As of now, Florence is due to make landfall very early Friday morning, somewhere in the Carolinas.

In 2016, a super typhoon lashed the southern section of Cagayan, destroying tens of thousands of houses. The Philippines has been trying to cope with rice shortages.

Super Typhoon Haiyan remains the Philippines' deadliest cyclone, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing in 2013.

Northern parts of Luzon and eventually Hong Kong and Guangdong Province will see major impacts over the coming days.

"Although there are still uncertainties in its track, Mangkhut is expected to bring adverse weather to Hong Kong on Sunday with frequent squalls and heavy rain according to the present forecast track".

An average of 20 typhoons and storms batter the country each year, leading to hundreds of deaths.

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NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Florence.

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