Typhoon Mangkhut: The Philippines is counting the cost of a deadly typhoon

Typhoon Mangkhut: The Philippines is counting the cost of a deadly typhoon

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media TitleFlash floods and landslides have led to deaths in the Philippines

The Philippines is counting the human and economic costs of the typhoon mangrove that raced through its main island on Saturday with fatal consequences.

Officials say that at least 14 people died, but blocked roads and run-down communication lines mean that the real impact on rural areas is not yet clear.

In the agricultural province of Cagayan far-reaching crop damage is feared.

The storm, which includes a 900 km (550 miles) rainbind and strong winds, now heads for southern China.

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It landed in Baggao, northeast of the Philippine main island of Luzon, around 1:40 am local time on Saturday (17:40 GMT on Friday) and left about 20 hours later.

Originally a super typhoon, which was billed as the strongest storm of 2018, it lost some of its strength in landfall.

Five million people were on their way and more than 100,000 were staying in temporary centers.

How bad is the damage?

Almost all of the buildings in Tuguegarao, Cagayan's provincial capital, have been damaged, a government official said.

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Getty Images

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In Cagayan's agricultural heartland, there are fears of damage to the plants

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AFP

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Dozens of landslides have been reported amid great blockades of debris and fallen trees

Francis Tolentino, political advisor to President Rodrigo Duterte, told the BBC that there are also extensive crop damage in the heartland of the country.

He estimated that only a fifth of the products had been harvested in advance – threats such as rice and corn.

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The head of the Philippine Red Cross, Richard Gordon, told the BBC on Saturday that the country was not yet safe.

"After the winds comes the rain, comes the water, so the next problems we face are flooding and access to these areas again," he said.

BBC correspondent Jonathan Head, on the main island of Luzon, saw 200 people who sought refuge in a school evacuated because a swollen river threatened to burst.

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AFP

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Mangkhut was the 15th and strongest typhoon in the Philippines this year

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EPA

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Rescue centers like these in Marikina City were set up in advance by the government

The Philippines are routinely hit during the typhoon season, but Manghukt's strength brought back memories of the deadliest national record storm – the Super Typhoon Haiyan – which killed more than 7,000 people in 2013.

However, preparations and evacuation procedures have improved since then – warnings have been issued, travel has been restricted, schools closed and the army has been prepared in advance.

Where is the storm going now?

Mangkhut is still strong as it heads west to southern China with current wind speeds of 145 km / h but fears that it will develop into a super typhoon again.

Residents in Hong Kong are preparing sandbags and securing windows and fragile structures.

Antoine Li, a government official at an emergency center in the fishing village of Tai O on Hong Kong's Lantau Island, said residents should not underestimate Mangkhut.

"This typhoon will be very dangerous as it will arrive when everyone is asleep and there is no way to go, so we asked the residents to leave the village before it gets dark," he told Reuters.

Mangkut is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by Tuesday.

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AFP

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As the storm approaches, the Hong Kong residents were advised to stay inside

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