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Super Typhoon Mangkhut hits the Philippines
16 September 2018, 10:13 | Darnell Patrick
Super Typhoon Mangkhut claims first victims
The Philippines is routinely hit during the typhoon season but the strength of Manghukt evoked memories of the deadliest storm on national record - Super Typhoon Haiyan - which killed more than 7000 in 2013. The Hong Kong Observatory said although Mangkhut had weakened slightly, its extensive, intense rainbands were bringing heavy downfall and frequent squalls. This means that winds with speeds of 118km per hour or more are expected.
To prepare, the Hong Kong government convened an interdepartmental meeting on Wednesday.
At the Taishan plant, safety investigations have been carried out and emergency response teams have been briefed in preparation for the arrival of the former Category 5 typhoon.
For the first time in the history of Macau, next door to Hong Kong, casinos were ordered to close from 11 p.m. Saturday, the South China Morning Post reported.
The fear of Mangkhut is remembered by the Philippians in the form of Typhoon Haiyan, which had caused huge damage in 2013 causing the death of more than 6,000.
China's National Meteorological Centre issued a red alert for the typhoon - the highest possible alert - on Saturday afternoon.
Shops and businesses were boarded up and protected by sandbags across the city and its streets, usually crowded with tourists, were deserted. The impact in the Philippines could be between 5 and 6 per cent of its gross domestic product.
The Hong Kong government said Mangkhut will pose "a severe threat to the region", with many residents in the city and neighbouring Macau stocking up on food and supplies.
Raging floods water is seen in Baguio City as Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, in this still image obtained from a September 15, 2018 social media video. "It has the strongest sustained wind (among the typhoons of this year)".
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Mangkhut is predicted to make landfall in Hong Kong on Sunday morning local time and then move to southern China on Sunday night.
He added: "In some areas where the eye of the storm hit, it seems as if nothing has been left undamaged".
The Governor of Cagayan, Manuel Maamba said emergency services are clearing debris from main roads.
Mangkhut will keep to a northwesterly track, bringing heavy rain and winds when it enters the autonomous region of Guangxi early on Monday, before weakening into a tropical depression as it arrives in southwestern Yunnan on Tuesday. Duterte also instructed some of his Cabinet members to go the areas which would be affected by the typhoon.
The bodies of the two women in the Philippines were pulled from the soil of a hillside that collapsed after the storm's torrential rains, Philippine police said. Six transmission lines in Luzon were toppled by the storm. The South-east Asian nation's foreign affairs department said it is now focused on coordinating offers of global humanitarian assistance. At least 128 local and global flights have been canceled, while 4,688 passengers are stranded in various seaports, the disaster risk monitoring agency said.
Francis Tolentino, a presidential spokesman and disaster response coordinator, said nearly all the deaths had been caused by landslides in the Cordillera and Nueva Vizcaya regions.
Flights from Hong Kong International Airport were delayed or canceled Sunday, disrupting the travel plans of thousands of passengers.
Philippine Airlines is scrapping 10 global flights on Sunday. More than five million people were in its path.
Mangkhut, considered the strongest storm on the planet so far this year, was the 15th to hit the Philippines.
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