Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

  • Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Mangkhut, classified by the Hong Kong Observatory as a super typhoon, is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230 kilometers per hour by Friday before gradually weakening.

However, he clarified that they are not ruling out the possibility of Mangkhut becoming a super typhoon.

MANILA, Philippines The most powerful typhoon of the season is closing in on the northern Philippines, where officials ordered precautionary evacuations and closures of schools and offices and urged farmers to quickly harvest their crops to reduce damage.

A super typhoon is intensifying in the Pacific and is forecast to barrel through the Philippines and Taiwan this week before heading to Hong Kong and south China.

The Philippine Red Cross estimates three million Filipinos live in the direct path of Mangkhut, communications officer Mary Joy Evalarosa told AFP. He had already ordered schools and government offices to close on September 12.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said by telephone that northern coastal and island villages in the typhoon's projected path will begin evacuating residents on Thursday ahead of the expected onslaught.

While Mangkhut is now stronger than Hato -- also known as Tropical Storm Isang -- or Haima it is likely to decrease in strength as it nears southern China, particularly if it crosses land over northern Luzon, which will slow the storm, according to Guy, the meteorologist.

It said that Mangkhut packed maximum sustained winds of up to 185 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 220 kph.

"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", Senator Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, said on Wednesday.

Nonetheless, Mr. Jalad urged LGUs and the public to be proactive and fully prepared as some areas might experience landslides and flooding due to storm surges.

Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing and displaced more than 5 million in the central Philippines in 2013.

Mangkhut is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and is considered one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.