Super Typhoon Mangkhut: millions of people directly in storm’s path
Philippines begins mass evacuations amid fears of landslides and flash floods in 160mph winds
As Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the US, a super typhoon is set to wreak havoc on the Philippines before moving on to Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.
Typhoon Mangkhut, currently the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane, is expected to make landfall on the Philippines island of Luzon tomorrow.
Forecasters predict the storm is likely to be one of the strongest in the country’s history, with winds of up to 160mph and storm surges reaching 23ft. Heavy rains are also expected to trigger landslides and flash floods.
Officials say more than five million people are directly in the storm’s path, and a mass evacuation is already under way.
“We are really frightened,” Delaila Pasion, who had fled her home, told French press agency AFP. “They say it is so strong, we were too scared to remain.”
The storm has stoked fears that it may wreak as much damage as Typhoon Haiyan, which in 2013 devastated a vast swath of the country, killing more than 6,000 people, CNN reports.
“We are bracing for the worst here,” said a spokesperson for international aid organisation World Vision. “There is a sense of fear that we might be facing a storm as bad as Haiyan or Haima.”
After hitting the Philippines, Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to head towards Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Observatory is expecting it to come within about 125 miles of the city on Sunday evening, according to the South China Morning Post.
The storm is then expected to make landfall on the heavily populated coast of Guangdong province, in southern China, potentially displacing tens of millions of people.
As in the US, there are also several smaller storms in the region, including Typhoon Barijat, which is currently tracking about 60 miles south of Hong Kong.