Pow­er­ful ty­phoon lashes Philip­pines, killing at least 12

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Ht World - AP

TUGUEGARAO:Ty­phoon Mangkhut lashed the north­ern Philip­pines with de­struc­tive winds and heavy rain that set off land­slides and de­stroyed homes on Satur­day, leav­ing at least 12 peo­ple dead and six miss­ing, as south­ern China braced for the pow­er­ful storm.

The strong­est ty­phoon to hit the dis­as­ter-prone Philip­pines this year slammed ashore be­fore dawn in Ca­gayan prov­ince on the north­east­ern tip of Lu­zon island, a bread­bas­ket that is also a re­gion of flood-prone rice plains and moun­tain prov­inces with a his­tory of deadly land­slides.

China and the Philip­pines agreed to post­pone a visit by Chi­nese for­eign min­is­ter Wang Yi that was to start Sun­day due to the on­slaught, which caused nearly 150 flights, a third of them in­ter­na­tional, to be can­celled and halted sea travel.

At least three peo­ple died and six oth­ers were miss­ing in the moun­tain city of Baguio af­ter fe­ro­cious winds and rain de­stroyed sev­eral houses and set off land­slides, which also blocked roads to the pop­u­lar va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion, said the city’s mayor, Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan.

Au­thor­i­ties were ver­i­fy­ing the drown­ings of three peo­ple, in­clud­ing two chil­dren who re­port­edly died as the ty­phoon ap­proached. They also were check­ing to see what hap­pened to about 70 men who re­port­edly re­turned to their coastal vil­lage in Ca­gayan to check on their homes as the ty­phoon drew closer Fri­day, spark­ing con­cerns over pos­si­ble storm surges.

Mangkhut’s sus­tained winds weak­ened to 170 km per hour with gusts of up to 260 km per hour af­ter it sliced north­west­ward across Lu­zon then blew out to the South China Sea, aim­ing at south­ern China and Hong Kong, where res­i­dents braced for the worst.

With the weather eas­ing, of­fi­cials warned there was lin­ger­ing dan­ger.

“It’s still a life and death sit­u­a­tion,” de­fence sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana said by phone, cit­ing past drown­ings in swollen rivers in moun­tain prov­inces af­ter storms had passed.

Storm warn­ings re­mained in ef­fect in 10 north­ern prov­inces, in­clud­ing Ca­gayan, which could still be lashed by dev­as­tat­ing winds, fore­cast­ers said. Thou­sands of peo­ple in the ty­phoon’s path had been evac­u­ated.

A gov­ern­ment dam­age as­sess­ment was un­der­way ex­cept in ar­eas still be­ing bat­tered by winds and rain.

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