Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions at risk as cyclone hurtles towards Philippines

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Thousands of people have begun evacuating coastal areas of the Philippines as a super typhoon heads towards the country.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, an even more powerful storm than USA -bound Hurricane Florence, was heading Wednesday for the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Ompong, with a maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness up to 255 kph is moving westward towards northern Luzon, as of 5 a.m update of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Mactan on Thursday (September 13).

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is predicting Mangkhut will leave "substantial damage" in its path.

Whereas, the Mangkhut is already considered strong typhoon by the CWB and it has more open ocean to continue to strengthen than Florence. He had already ordered schools and government offices to close on September 12.

Schools were shuttered and some farmers took to their fields to start early harvest of corn and rice that could be ruined by flooding.

The typhoon, named Ompong in the Philippines, will bring heavy rains and storm surges on its trail.

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Mangkhut is now barrelling across the Pacific with gusts of 255 kilometres (160 miles) per hour.

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

She said seven million others are at risk in the country, with the typhoon expected to boost the intensity of seasonal monsoon rains that have already caused widespread flooding in central Luzon, a mainly farming region north of capital Manila. The threat to agriculture comes as the Philippines tries to cope with rice shortages.

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

The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms a year.

Although there are still uncertainties about its trajectory, it is expected that Mangkhut will bring adverse weather to the regions of Macau, Hong Kong and the coastal cities of southern China. It's the rain that could be the biggest issue with latest updates on what Florence may do after making landfall looking much more concerning for a major flood event in both North and SC.

Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said: "We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm".