Publicado: Vie, Setiembre 14, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Philippines starts massive evacuations as huge Typhoon Mangkhut nears

Philippines starts massive evacuations as huge Typhoon Mangkhut nears

Authorities said some 10 million people in the Philippines are in the storm's path, not including millions more in heavily populated coastal China.

MANILA-Moderate to heavy rains are expected in most parts of the country starting Wednesday (Sept. 12) as the strong typhoon with worldwide name "Mangkhut" continues to gain strength and moves westward into the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

Poor communities reliant on fishing are some of the most vulnerable to fierce typhoon winds and the storm surge that pounds the coast.

In its 11 a.m. tropical cyclone advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the typhoon which will be named "Ompong" once it enters PAR is last observed at 1,845 kilometers east of southern Luzon as of 8 a.m.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he'll consider seeking assistance from the worldwide community over Typhoon Mangkhut if it "flattens everything".

Thousands began evacuating seaside areas of the northern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, where the storm is expected to make landfall early Saturday.

With a massive raincloud band 900 kilometers (560 miles) wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon could bring heavy to intense rains that could set off landslides and flash floods, the forecasters said.

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Office of Civil Defense chief Ricardo Jalad told an emergency meeting led by President Rodrigo Duterte that about 4.2 million people in Cagayan, nearby Isabela province and outlying provincial regions are vulnerable to the most destructive effects near the typhoon's 125-kilometer (77-mile) -wide eye.

"The weather here is still good but we're moving them now because it's very important that when it comes, people will be away from peril", Mamba said.

"Yes. I have been briefed... the nitty-gritty was already discussed so I could understand already the apparatus being placed there in the meantime waiting for the crisis to happen because every typhoon is a crisis", Duterte said when asked by reporters if he was pleased with the preparation and disaster response schemes presented by government officials. "If it flattens everything, maybe we need to have some help".

Schools were shuttered and some farmers took to their fields to start the early harvest of corn and rice that could be ruined by flooding. The threat to agriculture comes as the Philippines tries to cope with rice shortages. Government agencies were conducting damage assessments and beginning to clear roads, according to the Pacific Daily News.

On Guam, the typhoon knocked down houses, power lines and trees, with around 88 per cent of the island having electricity by Thursday morning.

The Philippines was expecting Mangkhut to be as strong as Super Typhoon Haiyan which left more than 6,300 people dead in 2013.

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