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Philippines: 10 million people in the path of Mangkhut

13 September 2018, 09:09 | Darnell Patrick

Strongest typhoon this year closes in on north Philippines

Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

FULL ALERT status has been activated by various government agencies as typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) entered the Philippine area Wednesday afternoon.

As the United States east coast braces for Hurricane Florence, an even stronger super typhoon is barreling down on southeast Asia, with Hong Kong and Macau square in its path.

Forecasters on Monday also raised another alert as Typhoon "Mangkhut" continued to gain strength as it moved westward toward northern Luzon.

Almost 43 million people in the south-east Asian region could be affected, according to United Nations' Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

PAGASA defines a super typhoon as a weather disturbance carrying more than 220 kilometers per hour (kph) of maximum center winds.

However, Wu said that the presence of a high pressure system over the Pacific around Taiwan and the slightly southward tilt of Mangkhut's path, the odds of the typhoon making landfall on Taiwan have been reduced. That compares with Tuesday's reading of 230 kilometers per hour.

Weather expert Daniel Wu (吳德榮) told CNA today that Super Typhoon Mangkhut is the strongest storm seen on the surface of the Earth this year, even surpassing Florence, which is a category 4 hurricane, in terms of power.

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"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".

Classes have also been cancelled in some areas of Luzon in the path of the typhoon.

"As Mangkhut has a large circulation with intense winds, it will pose considerable threat to the coast of Guangdong", according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

A projection of the storm's path by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) said it will pass within 50 miles (80km) of Hong Kong and 100 miles (160km) of Macau on Sunday.

Forecaster Meno Mendoza said Mangkhut's strong winds could whip up storm surges while heavy rain could trigger landslides and floods.

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.



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