Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Philippines Starts Evacuations Along Coast As Super Typhoon Nears

Philippines Starts Evacuations Along Coast As Super Typhoon Nears

According to the Philippine Star, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration defines a "super typhoon" as a typhoon with "maximum sustained winds of 220 kilometers per hour".

President Rodrigo Duterte and defense, interior and energy chiefs were given a briefing on emergency plans for a storm that could impact 4.3 million people, more than 800,000 of whom live in poverty.

Mangkhut, classified by the Hong Kong Observatory as a super typhoon, is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230 kilometers per hour by Friday before gradually weakening. It could affect as many as 31.4 million people in the region, according to the United Nation's Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

The cyclone is now working its way through the Pacific with winds of up to 160mph.

The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year is also threatening farmlands in Northern Luzon just before the rice and corn harvest.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said by telephone that northern coastal and island villages in the typhoon's projected path will begin evacuating residents on Thursday ahead of the expected onslaught.

Typhoon Mangkhut, considered as the strongest and most massive so far this season, could hit northeastern Cagayan province on Saturday. Almost 48,000 houses in those high-risk areas are made of light materials and vulnerable to Mangkhut's ferocious winds.

Once the Typhoon enters the vicinity of Philippines on Wednesday afternoon, "Mangkhut" will be named as "Ompong" locally.

Even so, Guy said will come "dangerously close to clipping the country", causing heavy rain and flooding in the island's north, where local authorities are preparing relief goods and security forces have been put on alert. The Philippines has been trying to cope with rice shortages. Nevertheless, the forecast path could continue to be revised over the coming days, with September 15 being the date that the storm comes closest to the country. Residents covered glass windows with wood, strengthened houses with rope and wooden braces and moved fishing boats to safety.

Moreover, Mangkhut will be the first storm to become a Typhoon of Category 5.

On Guam, where Mangkhut already passed, residents dealt with flooded streets, downed trees and widespread power outages.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms batter the country each year, leading to hundreds of deaths. About 80 per cent of the U.S. territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning.

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