Evacuations start as Typhoon Mangkhut bears down on Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230kph by Sept 14 2018 before gradually weakening

As per the state weather bureau, Mangkhut is likely to threaten Northern Luzon and is expected to cross the Cagayan-Batanes area by Saturday and still remain as a typhoon.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. encouraged passengers travelling this weekend to and from Hong Kong to re-book and the airline will waive the fees.

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

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is now located 607miles east of Manila in the Philippines and is moving westward at a speed of 12.6 miles per hour.

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

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 (160 miles) per hour. About 80 per cent of the U.S. territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning. He said classes would be suspended and offices, except those involved in rescue and relief work, had been advised to close on Friday.

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.

More news: Growing Northern California wildfire forces evacuations

MANILA, Philippines The most powerful typhoon of the season is closing in on the northern Philippines, where officials ordered precautionary evacuations and closures of schools and offices and urged farmers to quickly harvest their crops to reduce damage. "This is more complicated because of possible storm surges", Mamba said on September 12. The threat to agriculture comes as the Philippines tries to cope with rice shortages.

"The worst case are those areas which will be directly hit by strong winds that can topple houses, storm surges and heavy rains that can cause flooding, and there may be landslides in higher areas", Jalad told reporters.

President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled his Thursday plan to board a navy ship in Bataan in central Luzon to conduct a missile test.

About 20 cyclones pass through the disaster-prone country each year.

Mangkhut is forecast to make landfall in the northern Philippines on Sept. 14 or Sept. 15 and then move on towards southern China by Sept. 16.

Those cities will bear the brunt of the storm, which is due to make landfall in southern China early Monday morning.

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