World’s big­gest storm for year proves deadly in the Philip­pines

The Advertiser - - WORLD -

PHILIP­PINES: Typhoon Mangkhut has left up to 28 peo­ple dead in the Philip­pines as it roars to­wards densely pop­u­lated Hong Kong and south­ern China.

The strong­est storm in the world this year pum­melled the north­ern tip of Lu­zon Is­land on Satur­day, bring­ing fe­ro­cious winds and heavy rain that caused land­slides and led to houses col­laps­ing, and knocked out elec­tric­ity and com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines.

More than five mil­lion peo­ple were in the path of the typhoon, equiv­a­lent to a Cat­e­gory 5 At­lantic hur­ri­cane when it hit the Philip­pines.

Twenty of the dead were from the north­ern Cordillera re­gion, in­clud­ing a fam­ily of six killed when their house in Baguio City was buried in a land­slide. An­other fam­ily of four were killed in the prov­ince of Nueva Viz­caya when their house was also buried in a land­slide.

About 87,000 peo­ple had evac­u­ated from high-risk ar­eas of the Philip­pines. They were ad­vised not to re­turn home un­til the lin­ger­ing dan­ger had passed. China and the Philip­pines agreed to post­pone a visit by Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi that was to start yes- ter­day due to the typhoon’s on­slaught, which caused nearly 150 flights, a third of them in­ter­na­tional, to be can­celled and sea travel halted.

The Hong Kong Ob­ser­va­tory said that although Mangkhut had weak­ened slightly, its ex­ten­sive, in­tense rain bands were bring­ing heavy down­falls and fre­quent squalls.

Storm surge of about 3m or above is ex­pected at the city’s wa­ter­front Vic­to­ria Har­bour, the ob­ser­va­tory said, ap­peal­ing to the pub­lic to avoid the shore­line. In Hong Kong, se­cu­rity min­is­ter John Lee Kachiu urged res­i­dents to pre­pare for the worst.

In nearby Fu­jian prov­ince in China, 51,000 peo­ple were evac­u­ated from fish­ing boats and about 11,000 ves­sels re­turned to port on Satur­day morn­ing.

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