As the U.S. east coast braces for Hurricane Florence, an even stronger super typhoon is barreling down on southeast Asia, with Hong Kong and Macau square in its path.
Typhoon is the name given to tropical cyclones generated in the western Pacific.
Mangkhut, to be named Ompong once it enters the Philippines, is now forecast by the US military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center to bring top winds of 150 knots (277 kilometers per hour) with maximum gusts of 180 knots.
Even so, Guy said will come "dangerously close to clipping the country", causing heavy rain and flooding in the island's north, where local authorities are preparing relief goods and security forces have been put on alert. It can affect as many as 43.4 million people, according to the United Nations' Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
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Ompong's track threatens Metro Manila and most parts of northern Luzon, including the provinces of Bulacan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales. The Pearl River Delta region, which includes Hong Kong and Macau, is among the most densely populated in the world.
The storm is forecast to make landfall in southern China early on Monday morning.
Officials of the state weather bureau - Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) - said in a livestreamed press conference on September 12 that the typhoon is seen to reach a peak intensity of 220 to 270 kilometers per hour (kph).
As of 3:00 p.m. Wednesday (September 12), weather bureau PAGASA located the eye of the cyclone at 1,165km east of Virac, Catanduanes, packed with maximum sustained winds of 205kph and gustiness of up to 255kph.
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Forecaster Meno Mendoza says Mangkhut's strong winds can topple huge trees and whip up storm surges while its rains could trigger landslides and floods.
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.
A projection of the storm's path by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) said it will pass within 50 miles (80km) of Hong Kong and 100 miles (160km) of Macau on Sunday.
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