Wednesday 19 September 2018

Deadly typhoon smashes towards China after ravaging Philippines

  • Typhoon Mangkhut is the strongest storm in the world so far this year

  • Super typhoon kills at least 29 in the Philippines
  • China and Macau brace for impact after Hong Kong buffeted
  • Packs gale force winds of more than 200 kph
A woman almost falls down near a broken tree in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A woman almost falls down near a broken tree in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A man looks at a damaged house due to strong winds from Typhoon Mangkhut as it barrelled across Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

By Aaron Favila and Joeal Calupitan, Associated Press

Typhoon Mangkhut roared towards densely populated Hong Kong and southern China on Sunday after wreaking havoc across the northern Philippines and leaving at least 29 people dead.

The strongest storm in the world so far this year sliced across the northern tip of Luzon Island on Saturday, bringing ferocious winds and heavy rain that caused landslides and led to houses collapsing.

More than five million people were in the path of the typhoon, equivalent to a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane when it hit the Philippines.

ipanews_81f0d83c-7fb6-4032-950e-ff3e42b2215e_embedded238535583
A resident walks beside a toppled basketball court in Tuguegarao city, Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

China and the Philippines agreed to postpone a visit by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi that was to start on Sunday due to the typhoon’s onslaught, which caused nearly 150 flights, a third of them international, to be cancelled and sea travel halted.

The Hong Kong Observatory said that although Mangkhut had weakened slightly, its extensive, intense rain bands were bringing heavy downfall and frequent squalls.

Storm surge of about 9.8 feet or above is expected at the city’s waterfront Victoria Harbour, the observatory said, appealing on the public to avoid the shoreline.

A woman runs in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A woman runs in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A customer selects instant noodle at a supermarket in preparation for Typhoon Mangkhut, in Shenzhen, China September 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Shop assistants supply bottled water for sale at a supermarket in preparation for Typhoon Mangkhut, in Shenzhen, China September 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Customers shop for instant noodles and cans at a supermarket in preparation for Typhoon Mangkhut, in Shenzhen, China September 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man holding an umbrella walks in rain as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Raging floods water is seen in Baguio City as Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, in this still image obtained from a September 15, 2018 social media video. Jordan Rae Salinas/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
People holding umbrellas walk on a crossing in the rain as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A man holding an umbrella walks past shared bicycles in the rain as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Buildings are seen in the rain as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Philippine Red Cross team clear debris after sending patients of an accident to a hospital in Gonzaga, Cagayan after Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, in this September 15, 2018 photo from the Philippine Red Cross. Philippine Red Cross/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Philippine Red Cross team clear debris after sending patients of an accident to a hospital in Gonzaga, Cagayan after Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, in this September 15, 2018 photo from the Philippine Red Cross. Philippine Red Cross/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Philippine Red Cross team clear debris after sending patients of an accident to a hospital in Gonzaga, Cagayan after Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, in this September 15, 2018 photo from the Philippine Red Cross. Philippine Red Cross/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Relief workers wade through flood waters to rescue stranded people in Brgy. Sagud-Bahley, San Fabian in Pangasinan after Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, in this still image taken from a September 15, 2018 video from the Philippine Red Cross. Philippine Red Cross/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
High waves hit the shore at Heng Fa Chuen, a residental district near the waterfront, as Typhoon Mangkhut slams Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A woman almost falls down near a broken tree in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A man holds onto a tree in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A security personnel holds onto a pole next to a subway sign in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
People walk as high waves hit the shore at Heng Fa Chuen, a residental district near the waterfront, as Typhoon Mangkhut slams Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A woman runs in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A woman holding an umbrella walks in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A journalist braves high waves at Heng Fa Chuen, a residential district near the waterfront, under Typhoon Mangkhut attack in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
High waves hit the shore at Heng Fa Chuen, a residental district near the waterfront, as Typhoon Mangkhut slams Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A broken umbrella is pictured in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A man holding an umbrella walks in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A man holding an umbrella walks on a crossing in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Firefighters push a car in flooded waters as high waves hit the shore at Heng Fa Chuen, a residental district near the waterfront, as Typhoon Mangkhut slams Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A woman walks in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches, in Shenzhen, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Heavy downpours in Kowloon as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong, China in this still image taken from a social media video on September 16, 2018. INSTAGRAM/@KONN4 via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
A policeman walks through makeshift tent shelters damaged by strong winds from Typhoon Mangkhut after it barreled across Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut roared toward densely populated Hong Kong and southern China on Sunday after ravaging across the northern Philippines with ferocious winds and heavy rain causing landslides and collapsed houses. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Residents rebuild a small roadside eatery after the old one was blown away by strong winds from Typhoon Mangkhut after it barreled across Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut roared toward densely populated Hong Kong and southern China on Sunday after ravaging across the northern Philippines with ferocious winds and heavy rain causing landslides and collapsed houses. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
A journalist braves high waves at Heng Fa Chuen, a residential district near the waterfront, under Typhoon Mangkhut attack in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Waves spilling over a sea barriers as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong, China in this still image taken from a social media video on September 16, 2018. INSTAGRAM/@BLOCKCHAINMITV via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
A flooded street as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong, China in this still image taken from a social media video on September 16, 2018. INSTAGRAM/@BLOCKCHAINMITV via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
A flooded street as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong, China in this still image taken from a social media video on September 16, 2018. INSTAGRAM/@BLOCKCHAINMITV via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Those who died in the Philippines were mostly killed in landslides and houses that got pummelled by the storm’s fierce winds and rain.

Police Director General Oscar Albayalde said 20 had died in the Cordillera region, four in Nueva Vizcaya province and another outside of the two regions, as the typhoon battered the rice-growing and mountain area on Saturday.

Three more deaths have been reported in northeastern Cagayan province, where the typhoon made landfall.

Among the fatalities 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, Francis Tolentino, an adviser to Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, said.

ipanews_81f0d83c-7fb6-4032-950e-ff3e42b2215e_embedded238534878
Residents living along the coastal community of Baseco, Philippines, seek temporary shelter at an evacuation centre in the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

At least two other people were still missing, he said, adding that the death toll could climb to at least 16 once other casualty reports were verified.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said at least three people died and six others were missing in his mountain city of Baguio after strong winds and rain destroyed several houses and set off landslides, which also blocked roads to the popular holiday destination. It was not immediately clear whether the deaths and missing cited by Mr Domogan had been included in Mr Tolentino’s count.

About 87,000 people had evacuated from high-risk areas of the Philippines. They were advised not to return home until the lingering danger had passed.

In Hong Kong, security minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst.

                   

Cathay Pacific said all of its flights would be cancelled between 2.30am local time on Sunday (7.30pm Saturday BST) and 4am on Monday (9pm Sunday BST).

“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,” he said. “Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst.”

In nearby Fujian province in China, 51,000 people were evacuated from fishing boats and around 11,000 vessels returned to port on Saturday morning.

China’s National Meteorological Centre issued an alert saying Mangkhut would make landfall somewhere on the coast in Guangdong province on Sunday afternoon or evening.

Mangkhut, the Thai word for mangosteen fruit, is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and is considered one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News