Hong Kong raises typhoon alert as Mangkhut approaches

Posted September 20, 2018

Typhoon Mangkhut is the strongest tropical storm of the season so far with winds as fast as 200 kilometres per hour, Mangkhut has reportedly killed at least 25 people in the Philippines as it continues it's path towards southern China.

The Philippine government has ordered a stop to all illegal mining in six mountainous northern provinces in a drastic decision to prevent more tragedies after Typhoon Mangkhut set off landslides that trapped dozens of poor people, including small-scale miners.

Most of the deaths in the Philippines were caused by landslides in the Cordillera and Nueva Vizcaya regions, officials say.

More than 2.4 million people had been evacuated in southern China's Guangdong province by Sunday evening to flee the typhoon, state media said.

A man walks past fallen trees after Typhoon Mangkhut hit Shenzhen Guangdong province China Sept 17 2018. Reuters
A man walks past fallen trees after Typhoon Mangkhut hit Shenzhen Guangdong province China Sept 17 2018. Reuters

The storm broke windows, felled trees, tore bamboo scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded areas with sometimes waist-high waters, according to the South China Morning Post.

A father carries his sick child as it is being transferred to another vehicle after their ambulance is stuck on a highway by toppled electric posts caused by strong winds after Typhoon Mangkhut hit Baggao town in Cagayan province, north of Manila on September 15, 2018.

Boats were thrown onto the shore by powerful waves and the enormous rainfall has brought fears of landslides, although none have yet been reported in Hong Kong.

Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in Haiyan town at 5pm on Sunday (Sep 16).

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About 87,000 people had evacuated from high-risk areas of the Philippines.

On Sunday, the storm made landfall in Guangdong province around 5pm local time (09:00 GMT), packing wind speeds of 162 km/h, while 10-metre-high waves battered the coastline. The number of dead was expected to rise with more than 40 other people still missing.

As of Saturday, the storm had caused 51 landslides in the north of the Philippines.

The eye of Mangkhut, the Thai name for Southeast Asia's mangosteen fruit, skirted 100 kms (62 miles) south of Hong Kong but the former British colony was still caught in the typhoon's swirling bands of rain and gale-force winds.

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It said Mangkhut was located in Hengxian in Guangxi at 6 a.m. (2200 GMT Sunday) and had weakened to a "tropical storm".

Typhoon Mangkhut has claimed its first victims in China, with at left at least two dead in Guangdong province.

Ferry services in the Qiongzhou Strait in southern China were halted on Saturday and helicopters and tugboats were dispatched to Guangdong to transfer offshore workers to safety and warn ships about the typhoon, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. It's only the 15th time in the last 60 years that a T10 alert has been hoisted; the last was for super typhoon Hato last year.

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