Philippines braces for Typhoon Mangkhut

Charlene Craig
September 13, 2018

PAGASA said in its 24-hour forecast the trough of "Neneng" will continue to bring scattered slight to moderate to at times heavy rain over Ilocos provinces, Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley.

More than 4 million people live in areas at most risk from the storm, which the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii categorised as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts.

The Hong Kong government convened Wednesday afternoon an inter-departmental meeting that involved 30 government bureaux, departments and organisations.

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".

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It's expected to be 135 nautical miles (250 kilometers) off Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan on September 15 before heading to Hong Kong, according to the US agency.

About 80 per cent of the USA territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning.

On this topic, Philippines disaster agency Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said, "residents in coastal areas must be evacuated by Thursday [today], when heavy rains are expected".

The Philippines is preparing for the most powerful storm to hit so far this year as Super Typhoon Mangkhut bears down on the islands. He has already ordered schools and government offices to close. But Mr Mamba said: "I'm stressing that this one is very different, this is more complicated because of possible storm surges".

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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, Mr Mamba said. The threat to agriculture comes as the Philippines tries to cope with rice shortages. In the province of Benguet and Kalinga, at least 136 people have been evacuated, according to the civil defence office. In the territory, frequent strong winds and showers could occur and serious floods could caused by storm surge in lower areas, ' the SMG told MNA.

Hong Kong had been bracing for a direct hit on September 12, but the typhoon warning was cancelled the morning of September 13, the Hong Kong Observatory announced, as forecasts tracked Mangkhut's path further south.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

"We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm, including those who have been displaced several times due to the monsoon rains last July and August".

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