Worst typhoon of 2018 hits Philippines and Southern China

Thousands of Filipinos are evacuating their homes and heading for shelter ahead of a super-typhoon experts are calling the strongest of 2018. Ten million people are in the path of Typhoon Mangkhut, along with millions more in Taiwan and coastal areas of southern China (BBC).

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In the Philippines, casualties reported by various agencies on Sunday evening indicate the death toll could exceed 50, with most killed in landslides in or near mountainous areas of the Cordillera region.

Hong Kong raised its highest level typhoon warning on Sunday as winds battered trees and smashed windows in office and residential buildings.

“The typhoon is expected to make landfall by early Saturday either in Sta. Ana, Cagayan or Batanes” in the northern part of Luzon Island (The Manila Times). The capital of Manila will not be directly hit, but like much of the rest of the country, will experience monsoon rains on the fringes of the powerful storm.

Path of Typhoon Mangkhu
Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to hit the Philippines early on September 15. Copyright: Thomson Reuters

The Weather Channel has reported Mangkhut (called “Ompong” in the Philippines) is carrying winds of up to 180 mph. Storm surges of up to 23 feet are expected to trigger landslides and flash floods.

Mangkhut is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, according to AccuWeather. Hurricane Florence, which is currently battering the American Atlantic seaboard, has been defined as a Category 2 storm (NPR), defined by the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale.

You can track the path of Typhoon Mangkhut here.

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