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14 killed as Typhoon Mangkhut batters Philippines

14 killed as Typhoon Mangkhut batters Philippines

Some 14 people have been killed in a massive storm which brought destruction to the northern Philippines, a presidential adviser says.

Typhoon Mangkhut ripped through the Philippines’ main island of Luzon, and is now moving west towards China.

Almost all buildings in the city of Tuguegarao sustained some damage, a government official said, and communications were down in places.

The storm packed winds of 185km/h (115mph).

Four million people were in its path, and thousands were evacuated amid warnings of 6m (20ft) storm surges.

Francis Tolentio, a political adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, said up to 14 people were killed as a result of the storm.

Two rescuers were killed trying to help people trapped in a landslide. Unverified reports say the body of a young girl was found in the Marikina river, which flows through Manila.

The evacuation centre in the coastal town of Aparri is also said to have been destroyed and phone networks are down.

The typhoon recalls memories of the deadliest storm on record in the Philippines – Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 – which killed more than 7,000. However, preparation and evacuation procedures have been improved since then.

What is the latest?

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).

After losing some of its wind speed over land, it was downgraded from a super typhoon and is now travelling with wind speeds equivalent to a category four hurricane.

Workers clear roads after Typhoon Mangkhut made landfallTyphoon Mangkhut has caused widespread damage
A woman clutches an umbrella amid heavy rain in the PhilippinesImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe powerful storm was felt in the Philippine capital Manila

The storm – known locally as Ompong – has a cloud diameter of about 900km and is heading west at about 30km/h.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) billed the storm as the strongest tropical cyclone the world has faced so far this year.

The Philippine Red Cross shared footage of rising flood waters and winds ripping through towns on Saturday morning.

Strong waves caused by super Typhoon Mangkhut are seen in ManilaFlooding and landslides were expected
Satellite photo of Typhoon Mangkhut over the Philippines, 15 September 2018

The typhoon is forecast to pass near Hong Kong on Sunday afternoon.

Authorities there have urged residents to stay indoors when the storm approaches. Weather experts say it may be the strongest tropical storm to hit the territory in decades.

In nearby Macau, shops have been boarded up and residents have been sticking tape on their windows.

The typhoon is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by Tuesday.

Source: BBC


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