Typhoon Mangkhut lashes south China af­ter killing 36 in Philip­pines

The Myanmar Times - - ASEAN Focus -

AT least 36 peo­ple have been con­firmed dead and at least 40 oth­ers are feared buried in a land­slide a day af­ter Typhoon Mangkhut plowed through the north­ern part of the Philip­pines, au­thor­i­ties said Sun­day.

In Ito­gon, Benguet prov­ince, Mayor Vic­to­rio Palang­dan said at least 32 peo­ple died while 29 are miss­ing, mostly due to land­slides caused by tor­ren­tial rains.

He added that an­other 40 to 50 peo­ple, who were stay­ing in­side a bunkhouse that was buried un­der a land­slide, are feared dead.

Pres­i­den­tial ad­viser Fran­cisco To­lentino ear­lier said that four peo­ple were re­ported dead in Nueva Viz­caya prov­ince.

Ri­cardo Jalad, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Philip­pine Na­tional Dis­as­ter Risk Re­duc­tion and Man­age­ment Coun­cil, said in a state­ment that two res­cuers who were re­ported Satur­day to have died in a land­slide in the cen­tral Philip­pine prov­ince of Cordillera were sub­se­quently ac­counted for.

Typhoon Mangkhut made land­fall early Satur­day at the north­ern tip of the Philip­pine’s Lu­zon is­land, with max­i­mum sus­tained winds of 205 kilo­me­tres per hour and gusts that peaked at 330kph.

The typhoon dis­placed tens of thou­sands of peo­ple, mostly in the north­ern and cen­tral prov­inces, with evac­uees num­ber­ing more than 150,000.

Dam­age caused by the typhoon to rice and corn crops could reach 11 bil­lion pe­sos (K311.8 bil­lion/US$203 mil­lion), ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment’s ini­tial es­ti­mates.

The typhoon left Philip­pine ter­ri­tory Satur­day night, con­tin­u­ing to move on a west­ward track to­ward Hong Kong.

Nearly half a mil­lion peo­ple had been evac­u­ated from seven cities in China’s Guang­dong prov­ince, the gam­bling en­clave of Ma­cau closed casi­nos for the first time and the Hong Kong Ob­ser­va­tory warned peo­ple to stay away from the Vic­to­ria Har­bour land­mark, where storm surges bat­tered the sand­bag-re­in­forced wa­ter­front.

Mangkhut made land­fall in the city of Tais­han in Guang­dong prov­ince at 5pm lo­cal time (3:30pm in Myan­mar), pack­ing wind speeds of 162kph. State tele­vi­sion broad­caster CGTN re­ported that surg­ing waves flooded a sea­side ho­tel in the city of Shen­zhen.

Au­thor­i­ties in south­ern China had is­sued a red alert, the most se­vere warn­ing, as the na­tional me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal cen­tre said the densely pop­u­lated re­gion would face a “se­vere test caused by wind and rain” and urged of­fi­cials to pre­pare for pos­si­ble dis­as­ters.

On Sun­day morn­ing, the typhoon packed sus­tained winds of 155kph and gusts of up to 190 kph. The Hong Kong Ob­ser­va­tory said although Mangkhut had weak­ened slightly, its ex­ten­sive, in­tense rain­bands were bring­ing heavy down­fall and fre­quent squalls.

Hun­dreds of flights were can­celled. All high-speed and some nor­mal rail ser­vices in Guang­dong and Hainan prov­inces were also halted, the China Rail­way Guangzhou Group Co. said.

In Hong Kong, a video posted on­line by res­i­dents showed the top cor­ner of an old build­ing break and fall off, and in an­other video, a tall build­ing swayed as strong winds blew.

The storm also broke win­dows, felled trees, tore bam­boo scaf­fold­ing off build­ings un­der con­struc­tion and flooded ar­eas with some­times waisthigh wa­ters, ac­cord­ing to the South China Morn­ing Post.

The pa­per said the heavy rains brought storm surges of 3 me­tres around Hong Kong.

Photo: AP

Res­i­dents pick their way through a pub­lic mar­ket that was de­stroyed as Typhoon Mangkhut bar­relled across Tugue­grao city in Ca­gayan prov­ince, north­east­ern Philip­pines, on Satur­day.

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