China issues red alert for super typhoon Mangkhut

Sunday, 2018-09-16 08:14:16
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Rescue workers clear a road of debris and toppled electric posts caused by strong winds due to super Typhoon Mangkhut as they try to reach Baggao town in Cagayan province, north of Manila, Philippines, September 15, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
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China's national observatory on Saturday (September 15) issued a red alert for super typhoon Mangkhut, the highest level of warning.

Mangkhut is expected to land in coastal areas between Zhuhai and Zhanjiang, south China's Guangdong Province, on Sunday (September 16) afternoon or evening, bringing gales at the speed of 45 m to 52 m per second, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said.

It will continue to move northwest after the landing, but its force will dwindle, the NMC said.

Mangkhut, the 22nd typhoon of the year, could become the strongest one to make landfall, the NMC said, suggesting local governments prepare for possible disasters.

The typhoon will bring strong wind and heavy rain to areas along its route, with some areas expected to experience downpours of up to 80 mm per hour, the NMC said.

* Some residents living in lower areas have been relocated on Saturday and flights will be canceled on Sunday as super typhoon Mangkhut approaches China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Most flights on Sunday will be canceled, affecting about 100,000 passengers, according to the Airport Authority Hong Kong.

A typhoon signal No. 8, the third highest, is likely to be hoisted as early as 11 p.m. on Saturday night, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

The weather in Hong Kong is forecast to turn bad significantly on Sunday, when Mangkhut is expected to be the closest to Hong Kong.

* All the departments of China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government have been fully mobilized since Saturday to take precautionary measures for incoming super typhoon Mangkhut, the government spokesman said Saturday.

The marine administrative department will issue a red storm surge warning at 9 p.m. local time (1300 GMT), a warning in its fourth-level in situations where floodwater levels are likely to be 1.5 meters to 2.5 meters above road level, government spokesman Chan Chi Ping said.

After the red storm surge warning, the government's evacuation plan for low-lying areas would be activated as approximately 21,000 people living in areas prone to serious flooding will be evacuated to safe places.

The meteorological authorities are likely to issue typhoon signal No. 8 Sunday morning and it is likely that typhoon signal No. 10, the highest category in the city's typhoon warning system, would be hoisted on Sunday afternoon.

* More than 50,000 fishermen and nearly 11,000 fishing boats have been called back to port in east China's Fujian Province as super typhoon Mangkhut approaches China's southern provinces.

Work has been suspended at more than 1,600 construction sites and 128 tourist spots have been closed in the province as of Saturday morning, according to local authorities.

* The north and central regions of Laos have been put on alert for heavy downpours after weather forecasters warned that Typhoon Mangkhut and Tropical Storm Barijat are expected to pass over Laos on coming Monday and Tuesday (September 17-18).

Areas at high risk of damage from storm activity include the capital and the provinces in central and northern Laos. The weather alert was issued by the Lao Meteorology and Hydrology Department on September 14.

* At least 13 people died and five others went missing as super typhoon Mangkhut hit the northern Philippines early Saturday, disaster officials said.

The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has yet to release an official casualty report on the typhoon.

Ricardo Jalad, the executive director of NDRRMC, admitted that the initial number of casualties will increase in the coming days.

More than 40 landslides have been reported in the Cordillera region and efforts are underway to clear the roads there, the NDRRMC added.

The typhoon also destroyed houses, toppled trees and displaced more than 60,000 in several villages in the northern Philippines.

The government is also restoring power supplies in areas that experienced power outages.

Nearly 5 million Filipinos have been affected by the typhoon, mostly farmers and fishermen from the provinces.

The super typhoon Mangkhut, which made landfall at 1:40 a.m. local time on Saturday in the northern Philippines, exited this Southeast Asian country on Saturday night.