Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Hope fades in Philippines for dozens trapped in landslides

Hope fades in Philippines for dozens trapped in landslides

There were no immediate reports of casualties after super typhoon Mangkhut, a category 5 storm, entered the province of Cagayan in the early hours and sent winds and rains across the entire main island of Luzon.

More than 2.4 million people were evacuated from seven cities in the province before the storm's arrival.

Last year, the region was pummelled by one of the strongest storms in recent years, Typhoon Hato.

Fourteen people have been confirmed dead as typhoon Mangkhut leaves the Philippines and bears down on China.

Philippine authorities were evacuating thousands of people from the path of the most powerful typhoon this year, closing schools, readying bulldozers for landslides and placing rescuers and troops on full alert in the country's north.

Numerous missing in the Philippines are gold miners and their families feared buried in a landslide after seeking shelter in a bunkhouse-turned-chapel in a village in Benguet province.

Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in the city's global airport on Sunday, the airport authority said, with airlines including the city's flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, having already cancelled many flights.

As of 16 September 2018, at least 30 miners were killed and another 13 were missing after the landslide in the Cordillera administrative region province of Benguet in Northern Philippines due to Typhoon "Mangkhut".

Relief workers wade through flood waters to rescue stranded people in Brgy. Sagud-Bahley San Fabian in Pangasinan after Typhoon Mangkhut known locally as Ompong hit the Philippines in this still image taken from
Hong Kong raises typhoon alert to highest level as Mangkhut closes in

Ferry services in the Qiongzhou Strait in southern China were halted on Saturday and helicopters and tugboats were dispatched to Guangdong to transfer offshore workers to safety and warn ships about the typhoon, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Hong Kong Observatory said although Mangkhut had weakened slightly, its extensive, intense rainbands were bringing heavy downfall and frequent squalls. It was located about 800 kilometers (500 miles) away in the Pacific with sustained winds of 265 kilometers (165 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 325 kph (201 mph).

Mangkhut triggered the No. 8 signal at 1:10 a super typhoon in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst.

Between 40 and 50 people were thought to be inside the bunkhouse when the landslide occurred and another 32 people were reported dead in separate incidents in Itogon, he added.

As the storm passed south of Hong Kong, trees were snapped in half and roads blocked, while some windows in tower blocks were smashed and skyscrapers swayed, as they are created to do in intense gales.

Philippine officials say that gold mines tunneled by big mining companies and by unauthorized small miners have made the hillsides unstable and more prone to landslides.

Three people were killed by falling trees in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, while another person died from collapsing construction materials in the city of Dongguan, Guangdong's disaster relief authorities said.

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