At Least 12 Dead as Typhoon Mangkhut Hits the Philippines

At Least 12 Dead as Typhoon Mangkhut Hits the Philippines

At Least 12 Dead as Typhoon Mangkhut Hits the Philippines

Super typhoon Mangkhut is approaching the Philippines with estimated 167 miles per hour winds and gusts to 200 miles per hour, threatening a devastating impact to the northern tip of the main island of Luzon when it makes landfall on Saturday.

More than 5 million people are at risk from the storm, which the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center categorises as a super typhoon with gusts equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane.

Officials said other northern provinces had started evacuating residents from high-risk areas, including in northern mountain provinces prone to landslides.

At least five people, including two responders tasked to help in disaster preparations, died as typhoon "Ompong" unleashed a fury of heavy rains and strong winds in Luzon and some parts of the Visayas, national officials said.

"We're concerned they may not be able to survive this very very strong typhoon", CEO of Pinoy Power radio Emmie Ortega-Anderson, said.

Roughly four million people - a quarter of whom live on a few dollars a day - were in the path of destruction that the storm slashed through the northern tip of Luzon island, leaving at least eight dead.

After striking the Philippines in the northeastern Cagayan province on Saturday, super typhoon Mangkhut is expected to weaken but carry on with potential for storm impacts in Taiwan and hurricane force winds in Hong Kong and mainland China possible.

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A family remove an uprooted tree next to their damaged house in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Baggao town, Cagayan province Sep 15, 2018.

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The fear of Mangkhut is remembered by the Philippians in the form of Typhoon Haiyan, which had caused vast damage in 2013 causing the death of more than 6,000. "His clear and concise marching order was 'Save lives, save lives, '" said Francis Tolentino, the government's disaster response coordinator and adviser to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Fear was widespread among numerous estimated four million people in the storm's path long before it made landfall.

"We're praying that there will be less damage this time, although we know that this one will be very strong", Banez said.

Two-hundred people who had taken shelter in a school were re-evacuated because a dyke holding back a swollen river was about to burst.

Earlier Friday, the storm passed over the USA territory of Guam, knocking down trees and taking out 80 percent of the island's power.

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The airline said the cancellations were due to typhoon Mangkhut, which has been battering the region with torrential rains and ferocious winds.

"Typhoon is coming", he said.

As it exits the Philippines, typhoon Mangkhut is predicted to hit Hong Kong on Sunday.

Mangkhut, which is being called the world's most powerful storm this year, ripped into the northern Philippines on Saturday as a Category 5 storm, bringing winds of up to 269 kilometres per hour.

After losing some of its wind speed over land as it headed west, the storm was downgraded from a super typhoon.

Multiple Hong Kong airlines, including flag carrier Cathay Pacific, have announced they will waive charges for rebooking or rerouting flights to and from the city during the worst of the storm. According to Rene Paciente, a Filipino meteorologist, the typhoon is so strong that it "can lift cars, you can't stand, you can't even crawl against that wind".

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