Super Typhoon Mangkhut en route to Chinese coasts

Super Typhoon Mangkhut en route to Chinese coasts
Photograph provided by the Taiwan National News Agency and published on September 15, 2018 showing a column of seawater sucked up in the Taitung area (eastern Taiwan) as the super Typhoon Mangkhut approaches the waters of the South Island / CNA PHOTO / AFP

Photograph provided by the Taiwan National News Agency and published on September 15, 2018 showing a column of seawater sucked up in the Taitung area (eastern Taiwan) as the super Typhoon Mangkhut approaches the waters of the South Island / CNA PHOTO / AFP

The typhoon Mangkhut, the most powerful of the year, set sail on Sunday for the densely populated coast of southern China, after hitting the north of the Philippines where it killed at least eight people and forced more than 100,000 people to flee their home.

Mangkhut is heading to an area not far from the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong, where the Meteorological Observatory urged the population to be cautious, speaking of "considerable threat" to the southern shores of China.

After leaving the Philippine territory, Mangkhut was still accompanied by winds at 145 km / h, with gusts of up to 180 km / h. The typhoon could regain power by passing over the warm waters of the China Sea.

In Hong Kong, the shelves of bakeries and supermarkets were emptying quickly, the locals stocking provisions for the arrival of the typhoon. The same phenomenon was observed in the neighboring Chinese territory of Macao.

Volunteers helped locals in the fishing village of Tai O to elevate their furniture and appliances in anticipation of the expected floods.

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific plans to cancel more than 400 flights over the next three days.

– Very provisional assessment –

In north Luzon, the largest island in the Philippine archipelago, about four million people found themselves on Saturday in the typhoon, whose winds have reached 330 km / h in places.

The extent of the damage appeared Saturday in the day, with slumps of hillsides filled with water, uncontrollable floods flowing down the streets and the evacuation of residents from their flooded homes.

Rescuers have been deployed to the most heavily impacted rural and hilly areas.

The number of people killed "should increase over the hours," warned Ricardo Jalad, the head of the national office of civil defense.

A father carries his sick child to another vehicle while the ambulance carrying him is blocked on a highway by electric poles cut down by Typhoon Mangkhut winds in the Baggao city in the Philippines, September 15, 2018 / AFP

A father carries his sick child to another vehicle while the ambulance carrying him is blocked on a highway by electric poles cut down by Typhoon Mangkhut winds in the Baggao city in the Philippines, September 15, 2018 / AFP

The eight dead so far in the Philippines are six people killed by landslides, a drowning girl and a security guard killed by the fall of a wall.

Just over 105,000 people have fled their homes to flee the typhoon's bad weather in this predominantly rural and agricultural region.

The Philippines is hit every year by about 20 typhoons that kill hundreds of people and exacerbate poverty.

– "End of the world" –

A dog and a duck in the ruins of a house after the passing of the Typhoon Mangkhut in the city of Alcala in the Philippines, September 15, 2018 / AFP

A dog and a duck in the ruins of a house after the passing of the Typhoon Mangkhut in the city of Alcala in the Philippines, September 15, 2018 / AFP

"Among all the typhoons this year, this one is the strongest, the winds that accompany it are the most violent," the forecaster of the Japanese Meteorological Agency Hiroshi Ishihara told AFP.

Filipinos living in the affected area report having experienced a night of anguish in the face of wild nature.

"It felt like it was the end of the world, I could not sleep," told AFP resident Bebeth Saquing, a resident of Luzon. Her house, however, withstood the onslaught of wind, says the 64-year-old.

Mangkhut typhoon / AFP

Haiyan, in November 2013, is the deadliest typhoon to have hit the Philippines. Giant waves, similar to those caused by a tsunami, had devastated everything in their path. The disaster had left more than 7,350 dead or missing.

In Taiwan, a woman was swept away by the raging sea. The island, although hundreds of kilometers away from the Philippines and the typhoon, suffers heavy rainfall caused by Mangkhut.

President Tsai Ing-wen asked her compatriots to take precautions and prepare themselves, while powerful waves beat the shore. She urged them on Facebook to be cautious: "The typhoon is powerful and even though it should not touch Taiwan, we must be ready and not take it lightly."

burs-mm / EHL / pho

afp

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