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Strongest typhoon this year closes in on north Philippines

13 September 2018

Mangkhut would be the 15th storm to batter the Philippines this year.

On Guam, where Mangkhut has passed, residents woke up Tuesday to flooded streets, downed trees and widespread power outages.

"We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm, including those who have been displaced several times due to the monsoon rains last July and August", Senator Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, said on Wednesday.

"We are on the wrong side of this storm, where most of the damage is done", Cooper said later in the day. Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7300 people dead or missing and displaced over 5 million in the central Philippines in 2013.

Classified by the Hong Kong Observatory as a super typhoon, Mangkhut accelerated while slightly weakening to maximum winds of 240 kilometers per hour compared with 250 kilometers per hour earlier on Thursday.

Emergency workers have been deployed to the north of the nation's main island of Luzon, where Mangkhut is expected to hit on Saturday.

Poor communities reliant on fishing are some of the most vulnerable to fierce typhoon winds and the storm surge that pounds the coast. A super typhoon is one with winds of 241 kilometres per hour (150 miles per hour) or greater.

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It's expected to be 179 nautical miles (331.5 kilometers) off Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan on September 15 before heading to Hong Kong, according to the US agency.

Social media users and radio commentators in Hong Kong said they were stocking up on food and supplies after the observatory warned residents to prepare for the storm, saying it posed a "considerable threat".

The Philippines state weather service said heavy rains and strong winds are expected from Friday over the north and centre of Luzon, along with rough seas on the coasts.

Weather specialists are closely following the effects of Mangkhut in the northern Philippines region of Luzon as well as in Batanes, the Babuyan Islands, and the southern areas of Taiwan.

The Office of Civil Defense said other northern provinces also started evacuating residents Thursday from high-risk areas, including in northern mountain provinces prone to rain and mudslides.

Mangkhut has been predicted to be the strongest storm to ever hit Hong Kong since records began according to South China Morning Post, and is expected to bring heavy rain and chances of flooding to the harbour city on Sunday.

Strongest typhoon this year closes in on north Philippines