Philip­pines bat­tered by 130mph typhoon

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Our For­eign Staff

THE Philip­pines raised its storm warn­ing yes­ter­day and warned of ma­jor de­struc­tion, as su­per-typhoon Mangkhut blasted ashore with fierce winds and drench­ing rains.

The storm landed at Bag­gao around 1.40am lo­cal time (17.40 GMT) with sus­tained winds of around 130mph, said the state weather ser­vice PA­GASA.

Thou­sands have al­ready fled their homes on the Philip­pines’ north­ern coastal tip ahead of what fore­cast­ers have called the strong­est typhoon yet this year.

Busi­nesses and res­i­dents on Lu­zon is­land, which is home to mil­lions, were board­ing up win­dows and se­cur­ing roofs that could be sheared off by sus­tained winds of 130 miles per hour.

The state weather ser­vice raised a “sig­nal four” alert, the sec­ond-high­est storm warn­ing, for the Ca­gayan and north­ern Is­abela coastal prov­inces.

Both ar­eas are in the path of the mas­sive storm, which mea­sures about 560 miles wide, as it roars east across the Pa­cific.

“It is im­por­tant for our coun­try­men to know that we have raised sig­nal four,” fore­caster Loriedin de la Cruz said dur­ing a tele­vised safety brief­ing.

Heavy rains and gusts were al­ready hit­ting the tip of Lu­zon last night. At least four mil­lion peo­ple are di­rectly in Mangkhut’s path, which is pre­dicted to move on to China’s heav­ily pop­u­lated south­ern coast.

An av­er­age of 20 ty­phoons and storms lash the Philip­pines each year, killing hun­dreds of peo­ple.

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