Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm mammoth rains likely

Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm, mammoth rains likely

Currently, Typhoon Mangkhut now has a wind speed of 170 kmph gusting up to 210 kmph near the eye of the storm as compared to the previous 160 kmph gusting to 195 kmph.

Before Mangkhut arrives, both Hong Kong and Macau will have to deal with the smaller Typhoon Barijat.

According to the Philippine Star, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration defines a "super typhoon" as a typhoon with "maximum sustained winds of 220 kilometers per hour".

Office of Civil Defense chief Ricardo Jalad added: "The worst case are those areas which will be directly hit by strong winds that can topple houses, storm surges and heavy rains that can cause flooding, and there may be landslides in higher areas". Almost 48,000 houses in those high-risk areas are made of light materials and vulnerable to Mangkhut's ferocious winds.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said by telephone that northern coastal and island villages in the typhoon's projected path will begin evacuating residents on Thursday ahead of the expected onslaught.

Once the Typhoon enters the vicinity of Philippines on Wednesday afternoon, "Mangkhut" will be named as "Ompong" locally.

"The weather here is still good but we're moving them now because it's very important that when it comes, people will be away from peril", Mamba said.

A change in the typhoon's track prompted authorities to rapidly reassess where to redeploy emergency teams and supplies, Mr Mamba said.

The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year is threatening the farmlands in Northern Luzon just before the rice and corn harvest.

Residents boarded up windows and fortified homes in Santa Ana, a fishing town often battered by storms, where the weather was calm and sunny.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, also known as Ompong in the Philippines, is heading towards the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, over the next three days.

Mangkhut has gathered strength since it struck the U.S. Pacific territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana islands overnight on Monday, tearing down trees and power lines and leaving hundreds of people homeless. Government agencies were conducting damage assessments and clearing roads, according to the Pacific Daily News.

Shoppers were stocking up on fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and meat, with many stores selling out their wares earlier than usual, according to the South China Morning Post.

About 20 cyclones pass through disaster-prone Philippines each year.

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