Typhoon roars on
World’s biggest storm for year proves deadly in the 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 yesterday 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 Ka-chiu 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.