Philippines battered by 130mph typhoon
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.