The Philippines Starts Massive Evacuations as Powerful Typhoon Nears

13 September, 2018, 16:11 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm, mammoth rains likely

Now super Typhoon Mangkhut is located in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, with maximum wind speed in the center reaching 240 km/h. It could affect as many as 31.4 million people in the region, according to the United Nation's Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

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

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said by telephone that northern coastal and island villages in the typhoon's projected path will begin evacuating residents on Thursday ahead of the expected onslaught.

With a massive rain band 900 kilometres wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the storm could bring heavy to intense rains that could set off landslides and flash floods, Philippine state forecaster Meno Mendoza said.

While Mangkhut is now stronger than Hato -- also known as Tropical Storm Isang -- or Haima it is likely to decrease in strength as it nears southern China, particularly if it crosses land over northern Luzon, which will slow the storm, according to Guy, the meteorologist. 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.

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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"I'm stressing that this one is very different".

Schools and offices are being closed and farmers are racing to save crops.

Weather expert Daniel Wu (吳德榮) told CNA today that Super Typhoon Mangkhut is the strongest storm seen on the surface of the Earth this year, even surpassing Florence, which is a category 4 hurricane, in terms of power.

In Hong Kong preparations are already under way for the storm, although it is not expected to hit until Sunday. In its September 11 update, weather bureau PAGASA said Ompong is expected to be within PAR by Wednesday afternoon and remain until Saturday.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

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