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All storm signals lifted as Typhoon 'Ompong' moves farther from PH

20 September 2018

The typhoon, or "King of Storms", as Chinese media describe it, is expected to make landfall in Guangdong between Zhuhai and Wuchuan in the evening, weather officials say.

The third highest No. 8 typhoon signal has already been raised in Hong Kong, with a higher signal expected within hours as fierce waves pounded low-lying areas and strong winds rattled windows in numerous city's towering skyscrapers.

In nearby Fujian province in China, 51,000 people were evacuated from fishing boats and around 11,000 vessels returned to port on Saturday morning.

Mangkhut, the Thai word for mangosteen fruit, is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and is considered one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.

At least 25 people have already died in the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Mangkhut but the full impact on rural areas is not yet known.

Dozens of people believed buried in a landslide unleashed by Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines probably did not survive, a mayor said Monday, although rescuers kept digging through mud and debris covering a chapel where they had taken shelter.

Hong Kong residents were being told to stay away from the coastline and be on alert for occasional gales.

In the Philippines, 33 miners have been confirmed dead and at least 29 are missing after a landslide hit a mining site in Itogon in Benguet province, according to local reports.

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Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in the city's worldwide airport on Sunday, the airport authority said, with airlines including the city's flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, having already cancelled many flights. Dozens of residents sought shelter there during the storm Saturday despite warnings it was risky.

Mangkhut felled trees, tore scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded some areas of Hong Kong with waist-high waters. "Prepare for the worst", Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents.

On Saturday, it plowed into the Philippines, killing at least two people and flattening homes in small towns and villages on the northern island of Luzon.

That warning followed Mangkhut's devastating march through the northern Philippines on Saturday with sustained winds of 205 kilometres (127 miles) per hour.

Between 40 and 50 people were thought to be inside the bunkhouse when the landslide occurred and another 32 people were reported dead in separate incidents in Itogon, he added.

Five million people were in its path and more than 100,000 sheltered in temporary centres.

Palangdan said the area where the bunkhouse was located was "dangerous because there was a big tunnel mined" by a private corporation decades ago, blaming mining for the landslides that hit the town of almost 60,000 people.

All storm signals lifted as Typhoon 'Ompong' moves farther from PH