Super Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in the Philippines

Rescuers on the island of Luzon are ready for the super typhoon's arrival

Rescuers on the island of Luzon are ready for the super typhoon's arrival

The storm is expected to last the weekend in the Philippines before it makes its way to Hong Kong and southeastern China by Monday morning.

Storm surges of up to 7m are expected to hit coastal areas, it said, while heavy rains could trigger landslides and flash floods. Storm warnings have been raised in nearly all the provinces across the main northern island of Luzon, including the capital, Manila, restricting sea and air travel.

Mangkhut has a diameter of about 900 km (559 miles) and gathered pace as it reached the Philippines, but has since slowed, with wind speeds falling to 180 kph (112 mph).

Meteorologists have warned that the storm may have a "high humanitarian impact" based on the high wind speeds and the exposed population located in vulnerable areas.

Mangkhut might slightly weaken after landfall but could still be "very destructive", said Rene Paciente, assistant chief at the weather bureau.

"We believe there has been a lot of damage", said Social Welfare Secretary Virginia Orogo as thousands of evacuees took refuge in emergency shelters.

Windows are taped at a commercial building in the Central district of Hong Kong in preparation for Typhoon Mangkhut.

"If we didn't, all of us would be dead", Abedes said. Families set up temporary sleeping areas inside classrooms of the Delpan Evacuation Center in Manila as they voluntarily leave their homes due to strong winds and rain brought by Typhoon Ompong on September 15, 2018.

Farmers in the region, which produces a significant portion of the Philippines' corn and rice, were rushing to bring in crops that could be destroyed by flooding.

In Hong Kong, Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst as Mangkhut barreled toward the southern Chinese city.

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The super typhoon is 885 kilometers wide with maximum sustained winds up to 274 kilometers per hour.

Authorities in some areas of northern Luzon turned off power as a precaution, and said some residents in high-risk areas chose to ride out the storm to protect homes from looters.

The Hong Kong Observatory has warned that there could be a typhoon No. 10 signal on Sunday.

As the storm heads for China's southern coast, Cathay Pacific said it expects more than 400 flight cancellations over the next three days. The province has recalled more than 36,000 fishing boats to port, while train services between the cities of Zhanjiang and Maoming have been suspended and all ferry services between Guangdong and Hainan have been put on hold. The outer rainbands of Mangkhut are also edging closer to the coast of Guangdong.

"He is from there, and that's where the typhoon is hitting now. and he said they have to harvest their rice two weeks earlier, before the grain is ripe enough".

Duterte, who cancelled his appearance at a missile test firing aboard a navy ship off northern Bataan province, asked cabinet officials from the north to help oversee disaster response work if needed, but told reporters it was too early to consider seeking foreign aid.

When asked by reporters if the government is willing to seek assistance from the global community, Duterte said: "It would depend on the severity of the crisis".

"My appeal is that we need to heed the advice of the authorities".

Mangkhut, a Thai word for the 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.

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