Typhoon | Barijat passes with whimper, Mangkhut expected to thunder

Cheryl Sanders
September 13, 2018

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Northern Luzon and Central Luzon should brace for strong winds and heavy rains as typhoon "Mangkhut" is expected to enter Philippine territory Wednesday noon.

It said there could be storm surges of up to seven metres (23ft) in coastal areas and that heavy rains could spark landslides and flash floods. It has already passed the US territory of Guam, where it caused widespread flooding and power outages.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System said in total up to 43.3 million people could be affected by the storm in the Philippines and southern China.

A super typhoon roared toward the Philippines on Thursday, prompting thousands to evacuate ahead of its heavy rains and fierce winds that are set to strike at the weekend before moving on to China.

Emergency workers have been deployed in the northern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, where Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to make landfall on Saturday.

Mangkhut, classified by the Hong Kong Observatory as a super typhoon, is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230 kilometers per hour by Friday before gradually weakening.

"As Mangkhut has a large circulation with intense winds, it will pose considerable threat to the coast of Guangdong", according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

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".

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

The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year is threatening the farmlands in Northern Luzon just before the rice and corn harvest.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms batter the country each year, leading to hundreds of deaths. "Even moderate winds can topple their houses", regional civil defence official Dante Balao told AFP.

The typhoon is seen to affect Northern and Central Luzon in the coming days.

Hong Kong is also in Mangkhut's sights and preparations there were already underway, though the storm was not expected to hit until Sunday.

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Florence.

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