Super typhoon Mangkhut heads towards the Philippines and China

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

A handout photo made available by NASA today shows a satellite image of super typhoon Mangkhut approaching the Philippines yesterday.

Typhoon is the name given to tropical cyclones generated in the western Pacific.

Weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said Mangkhut will enter the PAR on Wednesday afternoon and storm signals may be raised by Wednesday evening.

The civil defense office in Manila said towns and cities on Mangkhut's path are preparing government buildings as evacuation centers, stockpiling food and other emergency rations, and preparing rescue teams and equipment. It can affect as many as 43.4 million people, according to the United Nations' Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

More than three million people live in northern Luzon, which is sparsely populated compared to other parts of the island.

Luzon was devastated by Super Typhoon Haima - known as Lawin locally - in 2016, with 14,000 houses destroyed and 50,000 homes damaged, according to CNN Philippines.

The storm is forecast to make landfall in southern China early on Monday morning.

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Super Typhoon Manghkut is on track to hit the northern Philippines with its strongest winds on Friday before striking Taiwan and then possibly heading towards Hong Kong and mainland China.

It's expected to be 135 nautical miles (250 kilometers) off Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan on September 15 before heading to Hong Kong, according to the USA agency.

Officials of the state weather bureau - Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) - said in a livestreamed press conference on September 12 that the typhoon is seen to reach a peak intensity of 220 to 270 kilometers per hour (kph).

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

Pagasa said Mangkhut was last spotted 1,650 kilometers east of Southern Luzon, moving westward at 30 kph.

It said there could be storm surges of up to seven metres (23ft) in coastal areas and that heavy rains could spark landslides and flash floods. The remnants of the storm will still be in the area as Mangkhut arrives Sunday, bringing no relief to Hong Kongers from the weather.

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