Full alert as massive super-storm nears Philippines

Full alert as massive super-storm nears Philippines

Full alert as massive super-storm nears Philippines

It is reasonable to expect future changes to flight schedules as Mangkhut travels towards China, and it is advised to review your travel arrangements in advance. It is essentially a huge 900km (560-mile) rain cloud which could, when mixed with seasonal rain, create waves of up to six meters (20ft) on the coasts of Cagayan, weather experts have warned.

Mangkhut is the 15th - and the strongest - storm of 2018.

Storm chaser James Reynolds, who was in a hotel in Santa Ana, in Cagayan, when the storm hit, described how the winds ripped through the hotel's interior, leaving it uninhabitable. A Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is 157 miles per hour or greater.

Power and communications were down in parts of northern Luzon, where some residents in high-risk areas chose to ride out the storm to protect homes from looters. "It has been raining nonstop". The Red Cross predicted before Mangkhut's landfall that it will destroy 1 million tons of rice.

Forty-two landslides were reported in Cordillera Region alone, Jalad noted.

Francis Tolentino, political adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, told the BBC that there was also extensive crop damage in the agricultural heartland state. He said at least 12 were dead in the northern Philippines, including an infant, and that the toll could climb as reports are investigated.

"Representatives from relevant bureaus and departments also reported their preparatory work and contingency plans, particularly on measures in the prevention and handling of flooding, backflow of seawater and emergency plans for high-risk locations", a government statement read. In addition to the four killed in the Philippines a women was swept out to sea in Taiwan.

Historically, typhoons of this magnitude generate hundreds, sometimes thousands of deaths.

Forecasters say Mangkhut is the world's strongest storm this year, although it was downgraded last night from a super typhoon to the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of at least 115mph. Officials were anxious that Mangkhut could be just as catastrophic.

"The city has learned from past lessons to get itself well prepared", he said.

Evacuations are voluntary, Salamat said, but added:"It is a highly encouraged evacuation".

Food packs and other relief items have been pre-positioned in critical areas.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut smashed through the Philippines on Saturday, as the biggest storm to hit the region this year claimed the lives of its first victims and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

The Philippines was expected to suffer the worst damage.

The typhoon made landfall at Baggao, in the north-east of the Philippines, at about 01:40 local time on Saturday (17:40 GMT on Friday).

"The poor families living in [the Northern Philippines] have less capacity to recover quickly", Jerome Balinton, a Humanitarian Response Officer with Save the Children in Santiago City, told NPR.

Cayetano said the assistance is similar to what the DFA extended to OFWs affected by the runway closure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last month. He said he remembers one typhoon from his childhood.

Philippine forecasters said the shifting typhoon could possibly blow toward Vietnam after it exits late Saturday or early Sunday.

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