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

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration