Philippines evacuates thousands; 5 million in path of Typhoon Mangkhut

Philippines evacuates thousands; 5 million in path of Typhoon Mangkhut

Manila - More than 15,300 people had been evacuated in northern provinces by Friday afternoon, the Office of Civil Defense said.



By AP

Published: Fri 14 Sep 2018, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Fri 14 Sep 2018, 11:51 PM

Typhoon Mangkhut retained its ferocious strength, gained speed and shifted slightly toward more densely populated coastal provinces on Friday as it barreled closer to the northeastern Philippines, where a massive evacuation was underway.
More than 5 million people are at risk from the storm, which the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center categorizes as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane.
The typhoon was initially expected to hit the northern tip of Cagayan province early Saturday, but it is now likely to make landfall farther south and closer to Isabela province, and then cut across the country's northern breadbasket, Philippine state forecaster Chris Perez said. The change probably won't markedly change its impact because of the typhoon's massive size, he said.
With a huge raincloud band 900 kilometres wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon could bring heavy to intense rain that could set off landslides and flash floods. Storm warnings have been raised in almost all the provinces across the main northern island of Luzon, including the capital, Manila, restricting sea and air travel.
More than 15,300 people had been evacuated in northern provinces by Friday afternoon, the Office of Civil Defense said.
After the Philippines, the Hong Kong Observatory predicts Mangkhut will plow into the Chinese mainland early Monday south of Hong Kong and north of the island province of Hainan. Though it is likely to weaken from a super typhoon to a severe typhoon, it will still be packing sustained winds of 175 kph, it said.
The gambling enclave of Macau, near Hong Kong, suffered catastrophic flooding during Typhoon Hato last August that left 10 dead and led to accusations of corruption and incompetence at its meteorological office. 


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