Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Strongest typhoon this year closes in on north Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230kph by Sept 14 2018 before gradually weakening Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm, mammoth rains likely
Charlie Simmons | 13 September, 2018, 16:09

Forecaster Meno Mendoza said Mangkhut's strong winds could whip up storm surges while heavy rain could trigger landslides and floods.

In the 5 a.m. weather update of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the eye of Ompong was located at 875 kilometers East of Virac, Catanduanes and has maintained its strength with maximum sustained winds of up to 205 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 255 kph. Cathay Pacific encouraged passengers travelling this weekend to and from Hong Kong to re-book and the airline would waive the fees.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is predicting Mangkhut will leave "substantial damage" in its path.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, known as Super Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, is now equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane, with winds of at least 252 kilometers per hour (157 mph), stronger than Florence, which is expected to cause massive flooding and devastation in the Carolinas.

Mangkhut, locally known as super typhoon Ompong, has already passed the USA territory of Guam, where it caused widespread flooding and power outages.

The typhoon will bring heavy rains and storm surges on its trail.

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The most powerful typhoon to threaten the Philippines this year roared toward the country's north on Wednesday, prompting officials to order precautionary evacuations and closures of schools and offices, and farmers to quickly harvest their crops to reduce damage. About 80 per cent of the United States territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning. He said classes will be suspended and offices, except those involved in rescue and relief work, advised to close on Friday.

Thousands of residents will be evacuated as the deadly super typhoon tracks across the South China Sea.

"I'm stressing that this one is very different". The threat to agriculture comes as the Philippines tries to cope with rice shortages.

A missile test aboard a navy ship to be attended by President Rodrigo Duterte off northern Bataan province was canceled due to the approaching typhoon.

Should typhoon Mangkhut follow its projected path, Taiwan and Hong Kong are next in line to be hit.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty. Mangkhut is expected to make landfall Saturday morning of 15 September.

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