Super Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in the Philippines

Super Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in the Philippines

The passing of powerful Mangkhut over the plants, both under 250 km away from Hong Kong, threatens the possibility of damage to their nuclear reactors.

"We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm, including those who have been displaced several times due to the monsoon rains last July and August", Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, said in a statement.

Mangkhut made landfall in far northeast Luzon in Cagayan Province about 2:30 am local time on Saturday. State television broadcaster CGTN reported that surging waves flooded a seaside hotel in the city of Shenzhen.

As the storm tore past south of Hong Kong, trees were snapped in half and roads blocked, while windows and walls in tower blocks and skyscrapers were smashed. "It has the strongest sustained wind (among the typhoons of this year)".

The storm could hit Hong Kong and China's Pearl River Delta area, which has more than 60 million people and is a manufacturing hub.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled.

10 Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal at 9:40am on Sunday as super typhoon Mangkhut arrives in Hong Kong. Thousands of shelters have been set up not only in the Philippines but also in China, where the storm is expected to hit later in the weekend.

Francis Tolentino, an adviser to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, said those who died mostly died in landslides and houses that got pummeled by the storm's fierce winds and rain.

Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst.

He added: "Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst". Airlines such as flagship carrier Cathay Pacific cancelled many flights last week. In Guangzhou, scheduled flights between noon on Sunday and 8:00 a.m. on Monday have been canceled.

Nearly all flights in and out of Hong Kong have been cancelled.

In the neighbouring gambling enclave of Macau, all 42 casinos shut down for the first time in its history.

ASSOCIATED PRESS           A convenience store is taped in preparation for approaching Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Saturday
ASSOCIATED PRESS A convenience store is taped in preparation for approaching Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Saturday

Hong Kong is also in Mangkhut's sights and preparations there were already underway, though the storm was not expected to hit until Sunday.

The Philippines, which was battered by the typhoon on Saturday, appeared to be spared the high number of casualties many had feared.

Philippine authorities said a baby and a toddler were among the 29 dead, majority in landslides in mountainous areas that left at least 13 missing.

However, preparation and evacuation procedures have been improved since then - warnings were issued, travel was restricted, schools shut and the army was put on standby in advance. Three more deaths were reported in northeastern Cagayan province, where the typhoon made landfall.

More than five million people were said to be at risk from Mangkhut but thousands evacuated ahead of the storm making landfall including friends and loved ones of Honolulu Pastor Abigaile Corpuz.

Most of the fatalities were caused by landslides and collapsed buildings.

A woman weeps as she talks about her family's experience at the height of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the town of Baggao, Cagayan province on September 15, 2018.

He estimated only a fifth of produce there had been harvested in advance - threatening staples like rice and corn. "We have lost hope", 40-year-old Mary Anne Baril, whose corn and rice crops were spoilt, told AFP.

"Access into these areas is hard, which means aid may be slow to arrive, too", she said.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people.

Tacio, who was at the scene of the landslide earlier Sunday, says rescuers found another man but could not immediately pluck his body, which was pinned by rocks and mud.

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