Super Typhoon Mangkhut smashes into Philippines, two dead

Erika Holt
September 16, 2018

There have been no reports of casualties so far, said Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman.

Philippine authorities are finding it difficult to reach areas hardest hit by the storm.

The typhoon made landfall at Baggao, in the north-east of the Philippines, at about 01:40 local time on Saturday (17:40 GMT on Friday).

You can find all the latest images from Typhoon Mangkhut here as the storm hits today. Police also said a body had been found in a river in Manila.

It struck northern Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippines, a terrain home to over half of the country's population featuring both mountains and farmland.

"Every minute counts. Immediate evacuation should be to areas that are more than 10 meters above sea level, regardless of distance from the coastline", Malaya advised.

The Philippine News Agency reported that strong winds and rains hit Laoag City, the capital of the Philippines' province of Ilocos Norte, on the evening of September 14, and more than 2,000 people living in low-lying areas in Ilocos Norte had evacuated.

"We believe there has been a lot of damage", Philippine Secretary of Social Welfare Virginia Orogo said as thousands of evacuees took refuge in emergency shelters.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is hurtling through the Pacific, boasting maximum wind speeds of 180 miles per hour that threaten millions of people across Asia in what is estimated to be one of the strongest systems on record.

More than 5 million people were at risk from the storm, which the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded from a super typhoon but one that's still punching powerful winds and gusts equivalent to a category 4 Atlantic hurricane.

There are warnings that typhoon Mangkhut could result in storm surges of as much as 23 feet in the landfall region, suggesting significant coastal damage to communities in its path.

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Residents had started lashing down their roofs and gathering supplies days before the arrival of the storm.

"This is a violent typhoon".

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is hurtling through the Pacific toward Asia boasting winds as fast as 180 miles per hour.

The storm is predicted to move on to China's heavily populated southern coast this weekend.

"We do know that, on average, climate change is making storms stronger, causing them to intensify faster, increasing the amount of rainfall associated with a given storm, and even making them move more slowly", she said. "The water reached our roof", she said, referring to when her family rode out a typhoon at home in 2016.

Staggering winds of 205kph and extreme rainfall caused some structural damage and cut power to more than four million people across the Cagayan province on Luzon Island, around 300km north of Manila.

And with its huge diameter of 900km, officials said that many areas not directly affected by the storm can still experience heavy rains and strong winds.

The coastguard said about 5,000 passengers were stranded at several ports by the impending storm, which will head on towards Hong Kong, China and Vietnam.

Waves from Mangkhut, named for the Thai word for the mangosteen fruit, swept a woman out to sea in Taiwan on Friday.

"The typhoon is powerful and even (if) it's not expected to make a landfall in Taiwan, we should be well prepared and not... take it lightly", she wrote on Facebook.

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