Super Typhoon Mangkhut smashes through Philippines


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.

Among the dead were an infant and a two-year-old child who died with their parents after the couple refused to immediately evacuate from their high-risk community in a mountain town in Nueva Vizcaya province, Tolentino said.

Authorities are taking extra precautions as they draw comparison with Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated central areas of the archipelago in 2013, and killed 6,300 people, many in storm surges that reached as high as eight metres.

However, he added that the extent of the destruction caused by a hurricane or typhoon depends on what it hits, and the US East Coast is "much more populated with significantly more infrastructure to damage".

Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesman, said two other people were reported missing also due to a landslide in Dampingan, Loakan, Itogon, Benguet.

Hong Kong residents were told to be ready for Super Typhoon Mangkhut by Saturday night as the Observatory warned winds would pick up sharply after midnight, with a typhoon No 10 signal possible on Sunday.

Strong winds cut communication lines in the northern province of Cagayan, causing the local government to lose contact with far-flung areas where the typhoon made landfall, Governor Manuel Mamba told CNN.

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The 33-year-old laundrywoman said the 2016 typhoon blew away their hut, which they abandoned before the storm hit.

More than 500 flights have been cancelled at one of the world's busiest airports as Hong Kong prepares for Typhoon Mangkhut after it lashed the Philippines, killing at least 12 people.

"It's still a life and death situation", Lorenzana said by telephone, citing past drownings in swollen rivers in mountainous provinces.

Philippine authorities were evacuating thousands of people from the path of the most powerful typhoon this year with the country on full alert.

Thousands of evacuees have taken refuge in emergency shelters.

According to GDACS, the storm formed over the northwestern Pacific Ocean last Friday and strengthened as it moved past the Mariana Islands and the USA territory of Guam.

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

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"Typhoon is coming", he said.

More than 9,000 people have been moved to temporary shelters as Mangkhut, locally known as Ompong, makes its way towards the rice and corn producing provinces of Cagayan and Isabela where it is forecast to make landfall overnight.

The storm is expected to last the weekend in the Philippines before it makes its way to Hong Kong and southeastern China by Monday morning.

Though it will weaken from a super typhoon to a severe typhoon, it will still be packing sustained winds of 109mph.

With destructive winds and blinding rains ripping off the tin roof of a building and toppling over this gas station.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said in a statement it's cancelling all flights in and out of Hong Kong on Sunday beginning at 2:30 am, and wouldn't resume operations until 4 am the following day.

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.

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