Philippines braced for gi­ant ty­phoon putting four mil­lion at risk

Yorkshire Post - - UK & ABROAD -

PHILIP­PINE AU­THOR­I­TIES were evac­u­at­ing thou­sands of peo­ple from the path of the most pow­er­ful ty­phoon this year, clos­ing schools, ready­ing bull­doz­ers for land­slides and plac­ing res­cuers and troops on full alert.

More than four mil­lion peo­ple live in ar­eas at most risk from the storm, which the Joint Ty­phoon Warn­ing Cen­tre in Hawaii cat­e­gorised as a su­per ty­phoon with pow­er­ful winds and gusts equiv­a­lent to a cat­e­gory 5 At­lantic hur­ri­cane. Ty­phoon Mangkhut is on course to hit north-east­ern Ca­gayan prov­ince early on Satur­day.

It was tracked yes­ter­day about 250 miles away in the Pa­cific with sus­tained winds of 127mph and gusts of up to 158 mph.

With a mas­sive rain cloud band 560 miles wide, com­bined with sea­sonal mon­soon rains, the ty­phoon could bring heavy to in­tense rains that could set off land­slides and flash floods, the fore­cast­ers said. Storm warn­ings have been raised in 25 prov­inces across the main north­ern is­land of Lu­zon, re­strict­ing sea and air travel.

Af­ter the Philippines, the Hong Kong Ob­ser­va­tory pre­dicts Mangkhut will plough into the Chi­nese main­land early on Mon­day morn­ing south of Hong Kong and north of the is­land prov­ince of Hainan.

Though it will weaken from a su­per ty­phoon to a se­vere ty­phoon, it will still be pack­ing sus­tained winds of 109mph.

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