Super typhoon Mangkhut threatens Philippines, HK & China

Rescuers on the island of Luzon are ready for the super typhoon's arrival

Image Rescuers on the island of Luzon are ready for the super typhoon's arrival

Typhoon Mangkhut has lashed the northern Philippines with destructive winds and heavy rain that set off landslides and destroyed homes, leaving at least 12 people dead. In addition to the eight killed in the Philippines, a woman was swept out to sea in Taiwan.

Poor communities reliant on fishing are some of the most vulnerable to typhoon winds and the storm surge that pounds the coast.

More than four million people were at risk of flooding, power cuts and wind damage on Saturday as Typhoon Mangkhut barrelled into the Philippines.

Typhoon Mangkhut has wreaked damage across the Philippines' main island of Luzon, reportedly killing 14 people.

Mangkhut - stronger than Hurricane Florence, which is now lashing the US East Coast - is expected to make landfall on the Philippines island of Luzon island early on Saturday.

Rescue workers clear a road of debris and toppled electric posts caused by strong winds due to super Typhoon Mangkhut as they try to reach Baggao town, north of Manila, Philippines, Sept. 15, 2018.

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Earlier on Saturday, the storm left at least 16 dead in the Philippines earlier in the day as it lashed Luzon with sustained winds of over 105 miles per hour and gusts of almost 162 miles per hour and inundated the archipelago's northern island with floodwaters.

Francis Tolentino, an adviser to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, spoke from the disaster zone on Saturday evening, according to the Associated Press.

Thousands of people have fled from the path of Typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong) which picked up strength as it barreled toward the Philippines' Cagayan region on Friday.

"The city has learned from past lessons to get itself well prepared", he said.

Two-hundred people who had taken shelter in a school were re-evacuated because a dyke holding back a swollen river was about to burst.

It is the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in Cagayan province, where farmers have been scrambling to save what they can of their crops.

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After the Philippines, the Hong Kong Observatory predicts Mangkhut will plough into the Chinese mainland early on Monday morning south of Hong Kong.

The full cost of Typhoon Mangkhut on one of the country's most important food-producing regions can not yet be assessed, he said.

Mangkhut's winds weakened to 170 kilometers (105 miles) per hour after it blew across Luzon Island toward the South China Sea, aiming at southern China and Hong Kong, where residents braced for the worst.

A super typhoon yesterday roared toward the Philippines, 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.

Officials in Hong Kong held emergency meetings Wednesday in which all departments were warned to have "their deployment and emergency response plans ready for the possible threats".

The coastguard said about 5,000 passengers were stranded at several ports by the impending storm, which will head on towards Hong Kong, China and Vietnam. The Philippine budget airline Cebu Pacific, along with multiple Hong Kong airlines including Cathay Pacific, also announced flight changes.

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Mangkhut is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and is considered one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.

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