Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

It is now barreling across the Pacific Ocean with wind gusts of more than 178 mph an hour (287 kph).

Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said: "We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm".

Hong Kong is also in Mangkhut's sights and preparations there were already underway, though the storm was not expected to hit until Sunday.

The strengthening cyclone passed by Guam on Monday evening, bringing peak wind gusts of 130 km/h to the island before it reached its current super typhoon status.

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.

Members of monitoring team use a copy machine as an electronic screen shows details of typhoon Mangkhut at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Quezon City, east of Manila, on Thursday.

Forecasters said Typhoon Mangkhut could hit northern Cagayan province on Saturday. Almost 48,000 houses in those high-risk areas are made of light materials and vulnerable to Mangkhut's ferocious winds.

The civil defence office in Manila said towns and cities on Mangkhut's path are preparing government buildings as evacuation centres, stockpiling food and other emergency rations.

Governor Manuel Mamba of the Philippines island of Cagayan said officials would start evacuating islanders on Thursday. It has already passed the US territory of Guam, where it caused widespread flooding and power outages.

Mangkhut will be locally named "Ompong" once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Wednesday.

But Mangkhut's awful power is multiplied by the threat of storm-surges the height of two double decker buses sweeping inland like a tsunami. Residents covered glass windows with wood, strengthened houses with rope and wooden braces and moved fishing boats to safety.

With winds that may gust up to 240km/h, Mangkhut is expected to be more powerful than the Super Typhoon Wanda that resulted in heavy casualties in 1962 and the Super Typhoon Hato, which triggered the highest level typhoon warning signal previous year.

Shoppers were stocking up on fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and meat, with many stores selling out their wares earlier than usual, according to the South China Morning Post.

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