At least 12 dead after Typhoon Mangkhut lashes Philippines

Rescuers on the island of Luzon are ready for the super typhoon's arrival

Rescuers on the island of Luzon are ready for the super typhoon's arrival

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, an extremely unsafe Category 5 cyclone in the Pacific known as Super Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, made landfall in the Philippines on September 15. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, over 58,000 people are displaced, with more than 51,000 in evacuation centres in Region I, II, III, CAR and the National Capital Region, while over 7,000 staying with host families.

Super typhoon Mangkhut is approaching the Philippines with estimated 167 miles per hour winds and gusts to 200 miles per hour, threatening a devastating impact to the northern tip of the main island of Luzon when it makes landfall on Saturday.

Philippine authorities have said they are better prepared than in 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan devastated central areas of the country and killed 6,300 people.

Officials said other northern provinces had started evacuating residents from high-risk areas, including in northern mountain provinces prone to landslides.

Typhoon Mangkhut, known in the Philippines as Ompong, is the 15th storm to hit the Philippines this year.

As the powerful storm left the Southeast Asian archipelago and barrelled towards densely populated Hong Kong and southern China, search teams in the Philippines began surveying the provinces that suffered a direct hit.

Four million people were in its path, and thousands were evacuated amid warnings of six metres (20 feet) storm surges. The ferocious storm arrived in the Philippines at around 1:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, with sustained winds of over 120 miles per hour.

While the impact took some edge off the storm, Mangkhut mustered more strength as it churned across the South China Sea.

"I'm so anxious also nervous because of course they are our church members as well as our relatives, our families are there because according to them this is one of the strongest typhoon that visited the Ilocos Norte", Corpuz said.

Francis Tolentino, political adviser to President Duterte, told the BBC there was also extensive crop damage in the agricultural heartland state.

Before the storm made landfall, Civil Defense used that knowledge to pre-position hundreds of thousands of food packs.

Residents stand by a flooded road following the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut in Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province. The heavy rain triggered landslides that reportedly claimed the lives of several people in the area.

Officials in Hong Kong held emergency meetings Friday, and residents in low-lying areas and outlying islands have been urged to move to temporary shelters.

He said: "Because Mangkhut will bring winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity, our preparation and response efforts will be greater than in the past". Nearly 1 million people are living in coastal areas, or have homes made of light materials, along the storm's path, Edgar Posadas, spokesman of the disaster-monitoring agency, earlier said.

The Philippine budget airline Cebu Pacific, along with multiple Hong Kong airlines including Cathay Pacific, also announced flight changes.

At least 134 flights have been canceled across the country and the Coast Guard reported more than 4,000 people have been stranded because of ferry disruptions in the archipelago.

The Philippines is counting the human and economic cost of Typhoon Mangkhut, which ripped through its main island with deadly consequences on Saturday.

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