At least 12 dead as typhoon lashes Philippines

Leroy Wright
September 16, 2018

Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino said about 87,000 people had been evacuated from high-risk areas, while there were storm warnings in 10 northern provinces.

According to the Changi Airport website, about 28 flights from Hong Kong to Singapore on Sunday have been cancelled, while nine flights landed safely earlier.

According to forecasters, the storm is slated to pass through the Philippines before hitting southern China.

Mangkut, named internationally after the Thai word for a fruit in Southeast Asia but known in the Philippines as Ompong, had crossed Luzon, the Philippines' largest island, and was headed for Hong Kong and southern China.

Tolentino says that at least two other people are missing and that the death toll could climb to 16 once other casualty reports are verified.

Storm chaser James Reynolds, who was in a hotel in Santa Ana, in Cagayan, when the storm hit, described how the winds ripped through the hotel's interior, leaving it uninhabitable.

Many of those in Northern Luzon live in isolated farming communities. Outside a popular shopping mall, debris was scattered everywhere and government workers cleared roads of fallen trees.

Typhoon Mangkhut retained its ferocious strength and slightly shifted toward more densely populated coastal provinces on Friday as it barrelled closer to the northeastern Philippines, where a massive evacuation was underway.

"It's very unsafe that they don't want to leave their house".

The typhoon is approaching at the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were scrambling to save what they could of their crops, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said.

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"Almost all of the buildings here have been damaged, the roofs were blown away", Rogelio Sending, a government official in Tuguegarao, the capital of Cagayan, told Reuters. But officials in Hong Kong are still warning residents to be cautious.

A auto is stranded in seawater as high waves hit the shore at Heng Fa Chuen, a residental district near the waterfront, during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018.

"The rains will be strong and the winds are no joke". Airlines such as its flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, canceled many flights last week.

In Fujian province and elsewhere, tens of thousands of fishing boats returned to port and construction work came to a stop.

Mangkhut's northwesterly track will bring heavy rain and winds to the autonomous region of Guangxi early on Monday, before it weakens into a tropical depression to reach southwestern Yunnan next day.

People buy water and food at a supermarket ahead of the arrival of the Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Zhanjiang in Guangdong province, September 15, 2018. "Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst".

The storm is now moving 30 kilometers per hour (19 miles per hour) toward the coast of western Guangdong, mainland China, according to the HKO.

Three people have already died as one of the strongest typhoons in the history of the Philippines makes landfall.

The Philippines is still haunted by the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,300 people in central areas of the country in 2013, most due to huge storm surges.

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