Philippines braces for Typhoon Mangkhut

Larry Hoffman
September 13, 2018

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.

"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.

Forecasters said it is considered as the strongest typhoon this year.

Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific said on Wednesday its flight operations "will likely deteriorate, with flight delays and cancellations expected this coming weekend".

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.

Mangkhut has already swept past the United States territory of Guam, in the western Pacific, where it caused flooding and power outages. About 80 per cent of the USA territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning.

Last month, Tropical Storm Yagi and monsoon rains brought heavy floods across central Luzon and parts of Manila, causing widespread destruction.

Governor Manuel Mamba of the Philippines island of Cagayan said officials would start evacuating islanders on Thursday.

The civil defence office in Manila said towns and cities on Mangkhut's path are preparing government buildings as evacuation centres, stockpiling food and other emergency rations, and preparing rescue teams and equipment.

Luzon was devastated by Super Typhoon Haima - known as Lawin locally - in 2016, with 14,000 houses destroyed and 50,000 homes damaged, according to CNN Philippines. "This is more complicated because of possible storm surges", Mamba said on September 12.

A missile test aboard a navy ship to be attended by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte off northern Bataan province was cancelled due to the storm.

Mangkhut is forecast to make landfall in the northern Philippines on Sept. 14 or Sept. 15 and then move on towards southern China by Sept. 16.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty. Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing and displaced over 5 million in the central Philippines in 2013.

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