Posted by James Griffiths | 14 September 2018 | 1,236 times
More than 4 million people in the Philippines are in the path of destructive typhoon-force winds caused by Super Typhoon Mangkhut.
The massive storm is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, which at its peak Wednesday became the strongest storm of 2018 with winds of 285 kph (180 mph).
Countries across east and southeast Asia are issuing emergency alerts and ordering evacuations as both Mangkhut and a second storm, Typhoon Barijat hit the region.
Around 12,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying parts of China's Guangdong province and shipping halted ahead of the arrival of Typhoon Barijat Thursday, according to state media.
Mangkhut, stronger than Hurricane Florence which is currently lashing the US East Coast, is expected to make landfall on Luzon island Saturday.
Current wind speeds are up to 285 kilometers per hour (180 mph), equivalent to a Category 5 Hurricane and "All things being equal, Mangkhut is a bigger, stronger and more dangerous storm" than Florence, said CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller. "Any land hit directly would see more significant and destructive impacts from the Super Typhoon due to its size and intensity."
However, he added that the extent of the destruction caused by a hurricane or typhoon depends on what it hits, and the US east coast is "much more populated with significantly more infrastructure to damage."
"Therefore Florence will almost certainly be a more 'damaging hurricane' -- but Mangkhut presents a more serious threat to life considering it will hit with stronger winds, over a larger area, and have higher storm surge," Miller said.
Mangkhut has already torn through Guam and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, causing widespread flooding and power loss, with parts of Guam still without electricity Thursday morning.
Sixteen provinces across Luzon and the Visayas Islands have issued tropical cyclone warnings for Mangkhut -- known as Ompong locally -- with the threat level expected to rise, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. (CNN)
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