Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Evacuations start as Mangkhut draws near



Evacuations start as Mangkhut draws near

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Forecast path of Super Typhoon Mangkhut as it approaches the Philippines. Gal roma/aFP

Evacuations start as Mangkhut draws near

A SUPER typhoon roared toward the Philippines on Thursday, prompting thousands to evacuate ahead of its heavy rains and fierce winds that are set to strike at the weekend before moving on to China.

Typhoon Mangkhut, which has already blasted through the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, is speeding across the Pacific with winds that can gust as high as 255 kilometres per hour.

Authorities said some 10 million people in the Philippines are in the storm’s path, not including millions more in heavily-populated coastal China.

Thousands began evacuating in seaside areas of the northern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, where the storm is expected to make landfall early Saturday.

“The pre-emptive evacuation is going on in our coastal municipalities, the villages that are prone to storm surge,” said local government spokesman Rogelio Sending. “We are going to evacuate more.”

Flooding, landslides and wind damage from the coming storm were top concerns as authorities prepared equipment for rescue and relief operations.

Schools were shuttered and some farmers took to their fields to start early harvest of corn and rice that could be ruined by flooding.

‘Considerable threat’

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

The country’s deadliest on record is Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in November 2013.

The state weather service said Mangkhut will be the strongest typhoon so far this year, with sustained winds of 205kph.

The typhoon is expected to boost the intensity of seasonal monsoon rains that have already caused widespread flooding in central Luzon, a mainly farming region north of capital Manila.

Poor communities reliant on fishing are some of the most vulnerable to fierce typhoon winds and the storm surge that pounds the coast.

“It will bring destruction. They are the ones greatly affected. Even moderate winds can topple their houses,” regional civil defence official Dante Balao told media.

Hong Kong is also in Mangkhut’s sights and preparations there were already underway, though the storm was not expected to hit until Sunday.

Social media users and radio commentators in Hong Kong said they were stocking up on food and supplies.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the