Philippines braces for most powerful typhoon this year

13 September, 2018, 06:33 | Author: Carlos George
  • Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm mammoth rains likely

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, known as Super Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, is now equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane, with winds of at least 252 kilometers per hour (157 mph), stronger than Florence, which is expected to cause massive flooding and devastation in the Carolinas.

Philippines officials have ordered evacuations and closed schools and offices as Typhoon Mangkhut neared, carrying sustained winds of more than 200km/h (125mph).

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.

Typhoon Mangkhut has already hit Guam resulting in flooding of streets, uprooting of trees as well as widespread power outages. The storm is expected to strengthen further in the next 24 to 48 hours, according to CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy, before it weakens slightly to a category 4 equivalent storm as it approaches the the Philippines island of Luzon.

Floods, landslides and huge waves could put millions at risk as Typhoon Mangkhut hurtles towards the Philippines and Hong Kong.

More than three million people live in northern Luzon, which is sparsely populated compared to other parts of the island. We are preparing our emergency assets and relief items.

It is due to hit Hong Kong - a densely packed skyscraper city with more than seven million residents.

In 2016, a super typhoon lashed the southern section of Cagayan, destroying tens of thousands of houses. This is more complicated because of possible storm surges, " Mamba said.

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While Mangkhut is not expected to cause similar destruction, Philippines authorities warned it could cause around $250 million in damages to rice and corn crops in the region.

Mangkhut is predicted to reach China's southern coast around Sunday, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

The typhoon may traverse the Cagayan-Batanes area on Saturday and is expected to make a landfall at the northern tip of Cagayan on Saturday morning.

Mangkhut is now barrelling across the Pacific with gusts of 255 kilometres (160 miles) per hour.

The typhoon is seen to affect Northern and Central Luzon in the coming days.

Weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said Mangkhut will enter the PAR on Wednesday afternoon and storm signals may be raised by Wednesday evening.

He said very strong winds, storm surges over coastal areas and heavy to intense rains are expected in Cagayan and Isabela and the rest of Northern Luzon.

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