A resident carries a mattress inside an evacuation center as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches the city of Tuguegarao in Cagayan province, north of Manila. Photo: AFP / Ted Aljibe

U.S. judge blocks Trump administration’s ban on new TikTok downloads

Thousands of people started leaving their homes in the Philippines on Friday, less than 24 hours before super typhoon Mangkhut rolls in with winds of up to 255 kilometers per hour.

Many fled from northern coastal regions on Luzon Island ahead of the monster storm, which is expected to make landfall early on Saturday.

Businesses and residents on Luzon, which is home to millions, were boarding up windows and tying down rooves that could be sheared off by fierce wind gusts.

“Among all the typhoons this year, this one is the strongest,” Hiroshi Ishihara, a meteorologist with the Japan Meteorological Agency, told the AFP news agency.

“This is a violent typhoon. It has the strongest sustained wind [among the typhoons of this year],” he added.

The Philippines state weather service reported that Mangkhut, a massive storm about 900 km wide, is packing sustained winds of 205 km per hour as it roars west across the Philippine Sea.

Heavy rain and winds were just starting to hit the far northeastern tip of Luzon on Friday, but there had been no reports of major damage or flooding by late afternoon.

“They [authorities] said this typhoon is twice as strong as the last typhoon, that’s why we are terrified,” Myrna Parallag, 53, said after fleeing her home in the northern Philippines.

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.

At least four million people are directly in Mangkhut’s path, which is predicted to move on to China’s heavily populated southern coast this weekend.

“They [authorities] said this typhoon is twice as strong as the last typhoon, that’s why we are terrified,” Myrna Parallag, 53, said after fleeing her home in the northern Philippines.

“We learned our lesson last time. The water reached our roof,” she added, referring to when her family rode out a typhoon at home in 2016.

Flooding and landslides in the hilly region were top concerns as authorities prepared equipment for rescue and relief operations.

The economic impact could also be immense.

Back in 2013, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Tacloban, central Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people and wrecking homes and businesses.

Reconstruction costs were around US$6 billion, according to government statistics.

“An example [was] the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest recorded typhoons to make landfall, resulted in a total economic loss of around $10 billion,” an Asian Development Bank report stated in 2016. “The strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit the country left 6,300 people dead and damaged over 1 million houses.”

– reporting by AFP news agency

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

One reply on “Thousands flee the path of super typhoon in Philippines”

Comments are closed.