Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

PAGASA said Mangkhut has slowed down but gained strength and will traverse Northern Luzon, passing Cagayan and Batanes on Saturday but residents will experience heavy rainfall by Friday.

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.

It can affect as many as 43.4 million people, according to the United Nation's Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

A powerful typhoon is expected to make a landfall in the Philippines' main Luzon island on Saturday (Sept 15), prompting authorities to place 17 areas on alert and start evacuations.

"We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm", said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross.

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.

The Hong Kong Observatory warned residents to prepare for the storm, saying it posed a "considerable threat". He had already ordered schools and government offices to close on September 12.

With a massive rain band 900 kilometers (560 miles) wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the storm could bring heavy to intense rains that could set off landslides and flash floods, state forecaster Meno Mendoza said.

"I'm stressing that this one is very different, this is more complicated because of possible storm surges", Mamba said, referring to giant waves whipped inland by a typhoon. The Philippines has been trying to cope with rice shortages. "Even moderate winds can topple their houses", regional civil defence official Dante Balao told AFP.

Thousands of people have begun evacuating coastal areas of the Philippines as a super typhoon heads towards the country.

In disaster-prone Philippines where about 20 cyclones pass each year, Mangkhut, which is named after a fruit in Thailand, is forecast to enter on Wednesday just as another storm left.

After the passage of typhoon Barijat yesterday, which caused no damage or significant disruption to the city's daily activities, the region is already preparing for another storm - typhoon Mangkhut - one that has already been classified as a super typhoon and is now heading toward the South China coast.

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