Super typhoon Mangkhut threatens Philippines, HK & China

Super typhoon Mangkhut threatens Philippines, HK & China

Sagud-Bahley, San Fabian in Pangasinan after Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, in this still image taken from a September 15, 2018 video from the Philippine Red Cross.

Disaster authorities have yet to complete damage assessments from Mangkhut, the 15th and most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year, which had maximum gusts of 305 kph (190 mph), and was expected to clear land after 10:00 a.m. on its way towards southern China and Vietnam.

Philippine authorities confirmed the number of people killed by Typhoon Mangkhut as it tore a path of destruction through the islands has risen to 25, authorities said this morning.

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

Typhoon Mangkhut, one day after it made landfall as the strongest storm to hit the the Philippines in five years, has killed at least 16 people, an official said Saturday.

Staggering winds of 205kph and extreme rainfall caused some structural damage and cut power to more than four million people across the Cagayan province on Luzon Island, around 300km north of Manila.

The Hong Kong Observatory said it is still likely to be at super-typhoon level as it nears that city and Macau, bringing with it winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour (120 mph), equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.

A satellite view of typhoon Mangkhut.

In the Manila suburban city of Pasig, the body of a teenage girl was recovered from under a bridge in the swollen Marikina River, police said.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte held a meeting Thursday of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), where it was chose to put in place extra emergency procedures ahead of the storm.

House after house had been flattened or badly damaged, with roofs or walls missing.

"The rains will be strong and the winds are no joke".

"Representatives from relevant bureaus and departments also reported their preparatory work and contingency plans, particularly on measures in the prevention and handling of flooding, backflow of seawater and emergency plans for high-risk locations", a government statement read.

Philippine Office of Civil Defence chief Ricardo Jalad told an emergency meeting led by President Rodrigo Duterte that about 4.2 million people in Cagayan, Isabela and outlying provinces are vulnerable to the most destructive effects near the typhoon's 125-kilometre-wide eye.

Concerns over massive storm surges that could be whipped inland by the typhoon's winds also prompted wardens to relocate 143 detainees from a jail in Cagayan's Aparri town. Outside a popular shopping mall, debris was scattered everywhere and government workers clearing roads of fallen trees.

The skyline of the Kowloon area is silhouetted at sunset before typhoon Mangkhut approached Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst as Mangkhut barreled toward the territory.

"Because Mangkhut will bring winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity, our preparation and response efforts will be greater than in the past", Ka-chiu said, according to the Associated Press.

More than 105,000 people fled their homes in the largely rural region.

The storm is expected to be one for Hong Kong's record books.

More than 500 flights have been canceled affecting some 96,000 passengers, according to the South China Morning Post.