Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Strongest typhoon this year closes in on north Philippines

Strongest typhoon this year closes in on north Philippines

Duterte even singled out Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to go to their hometown provinces Isabela and Cagayan which are among the expected areas to be pummelled by the typhoon.

The typhoon is arriving at the start of the rice and corn harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were scrambling to save what they could of their crops, Mamba said.

The storm has already swept over the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.

About 80 per cent of the US territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning. It was tracked on Thursday about 450 miles away in the Pacific with sustained winds of 127 miles per hour and gusts of up to 158 mph.

"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.

Last year, Super Typhoon Hato caused - a No.10 signal storm - hit Hong Kong, causing an estimated HK$4-8 billion loss and forcing over 450 flights to be cancelled. It has already passed the USA territory of Guam, where it caused widespread flooding and power outages.

"Although there are still uncertainties in its track, Mangkhut is expected to bring adverse weather to Hong Kong on Sunday with frequent squalls and heavy rain according to the present forecast track".

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Social media users and radio commentators in Hong Kong said they were stocking up on food and supplies.

The Observatory said it will pose a considerable threat to the coast of Guangdong.

The state weather service said heavy rains and strong winds are expected from Friday over the north and centre of Luzon, along with rough seas on the coasts.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Philippines is on alert to support response efforts.

The Social Welfare Bureau president, Vong Yim Mui, speaking on the sidelines on the opening ceremony of the "Hato Education Sponsorship Fund", said that Macau is prepared for the upcoming typhoon and that all 16 shelters running under the Bureau's supervision "are already prepared and ready to enter into operation as soon as the government decides".

The two storms will not directly hit Thailand but will intensify the southwestern monsoon bringing heavier rains in the mentioned areas.

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