Manila batons down as super typhoon Mangkhut arrives
About 10 million Filipinos live in the typhoon’s trajectory. In the coming days, the storm will reach the southern coast of China, including Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Floods, landslides and wind damage are emergencies for which authorities have prepared equipment and rescue operations. Six other storms are forming and causing alarm in other parts of the world: Barijat, Florence, Olivia, Isaac, Helene and Joyce.
Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The super typhoon Mangkhut will hit the Philippines in less than 24 hours, bringing winds up to 255 kilometers per hour and torrential rains. Alerted by the authorities, thousands of people have already fled their homes on the northern coast of the island of Luzon, in anticipation of what should be the most fierce storm to hit the country this year. Manila declares that about 10 million Filipinos reside on the trajectory of Mangkhut, which in the coming days will reach the southern coast of China, including Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
Floods, landslides and wind damage are emergencies for which the authorities have prepared equipment and rescue operations. Emergency medical and emergency response teams remain on alert, while the government has released more than 1.7 billion pesos (27 million euros) in relief supplies. President Rodrigo Duterte and Ministers for Defense, Interior and Energy were updated yesterday on the emergency plans for the storm. Schools are closed and some farmers have rushed to start an early harvest of corn and rice, which could be ruined by flooding.
An average of 20 typhoons and storms affect the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in almost perennial poverty. The most devastating storm for the country was the super typhoon Haiyan, which in November 2013 caused more than 7,350 dead and missing in the central regions. While Hong Kong is also preparing for what could be the most intense storm to hit the city since the registrations began, another six storms are spreading, or have raised alarm, in other parts of the world: Barijat, Florence, Olivia, Isaac, Helene and Joyce. The tropical depression Paul has recently extinguished itself.
The tropical storm Olivia, with its strong winds, hit Hawaii (USA), knocking down trees and causing the cancellation of several flights. Another tropical storm, Isaac, is moving to the central island of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea and could lead to sudden floods. Hurricane Helene is weakening, while the sub-tropical storm Joyce is forming in the North Atlantic Ocean, which experts say will become tropical storms. Hurricane Florence is growing in size despite its winds being weaker; it is no longer classified as a major hurricane, but still poses a serious threat to the life and property of the citizens of North Carolina (USA), where it is due to make landfall later today.