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22nd of October 2018

International



Family of four among the 28 dead after Typhoon Mangkhut lashes the Philippines

At least 28 people were killed in landslides and floods caused by Typhoon Mangkhut, which pummelled the northern Philippines for 20 hours on Saturday before moving toward southern China, officials say.

Philippine officials say the death toll from Typhoon Mangkhut has risen mostly due to landslides in northern mountain provinces.

Police Director General Oscar Albayalde told The Associated Press that 20 had died in the Cordillera region, four in Nueva Vizcaya province and another outside of the two regions, as the typhoon battered the rice-growing and mountain area on Saturday. Three more deaths have been reported in northeastern Cagayan province, where the typhoon made landfall.

Typhoon Mangkhut battered northern Philippines as it made landfall on Saturday morning.

JES AZNAR/GETTY

Typhoon Mangkhut battered northern Philippines as it made landfall on Saturday morning.

More than 4 million people were left without electricity as Mangkhut, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, knocked down electricity and communication lines.

READ MORE: * Death toll rises to seven as Florence stalls over North Carolina* Kiwi Filipinos track Typhoon Mangkhut's journey* Two deadly storms, Florence and Mangkhut, are as different as wind and water* Nine storms raging across the Earth

The death toll would "probably still go up," said Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, noting that reports of damage caused by Mangkhut were trickling in as emergency teams were able to reach battered areas.

Residents gather usable items after their property was destroyed by Mangkhut.

JES AZNAR/GETTY

Residents gather usable items after their property was destroyed by Mangkhut.

A family of four, including an 8-month-old baby and a 2-year-old child, were killed when their house was buried in a landslide in Kayapa town in Nueva Vizcaya, said Governor Carlos Padilla.

In the Manila suburban city of Pasig, the body of a teenage girl was recovered from under a bridge in the swollen Marikina River, police said.

More than 151,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes in the affected communities, especially coastal areas, according to the risk reduction council.

Residents evacuated and spent the night in an evacuation centre in Gonzaga, Philippines.

JES AZNAR/GETTY

Residents evacuated and spent the night in an evacuation centre in Gonzaga, Philippines.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 cyclones every year, causing floods, landslides and other accidents.

One of the strongest in recent memory, Typhoon Haiyan, hit the country in November 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and displacing more than 4 million.

Typhoon Mangkhut's ferocious winds and blinding rain ripped off tin roof sheets and knocked out power, ploughing through the agricultural region at the start of the onslaught.

The Librador family inside their house that is heavily damaged by Mangkhut.

JES AZNAR/GETTY

The Librador family inside their house that is heavily damaged by Mangkhut.

The typhoon made landfall before dawn on Saturday in the coastal town of Baggao in Cagayan province on the northern tip of Luzon Island, a breadbasket of flood-prone rice plains and mountain provinces often hit by landslides.

More than 5 million people were at risk from the storm, which the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Centre categorises as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane.

Associated Press journalists in a hotel in Cagayan's capital city of Tuguegarao saw tin roof sheets and other debris hurtle through the air and store signs crash to the ground. Cars shook as wind gusts pummeled a parking lot.

Police help clear debris on a road in northern Philippines.

JES AZNAR/GETTY

Police help clear debris on a road in northern Philippines.

With a huge raincloud band 900 kilometres wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon dumped intense rain that could set off landslides and flash floods. Storm warnings have been raised in almost all the provinces across the Luzon, including the capital, Manila, restricting sea and air travel.

Before it hit land, Mangkhut packed sustained winds of 205 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 255 kph, forecasters said. 

In Tuguegarao, residents had braced for the typhoon's fury by reinforcing homes and buildings and stocking up on food.

A resident inspects the damage wrought by Typhoon Mangkhut.

JES AZNAR/GETTY

A resident inspects the damage wrought by Typhoon Mangkhut.

Ninia Grace Abedes abandoned her bamboo hut and hauled her four children to a school building serving as an emergency shelter. The 33-year-old laundrywoman said the 2016 typhoon blew away their hut, which they abandoned before the storm hit.

"If we didn't, all of us would be dead," Abedes said.

On the Chinese mainland, the three southern provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan are co-ordinating preparations, including suspending transport and moving people to shelter inland, the national meteorological agency reported.

NASA satellite image shows the surging Super Typhoon Mangkhut churn west towards the Philippines.

LAUREN DAUPHIN/NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY

NASA satellite image shows the surging Super Typhoon Mangkhut churn west towards the Philippines.

Guangdong, China's manufacturing hub, has set up 3777 shelters, while more than 100,000 residents and tourists have been moved to safety or sent home.

The province has recalled more than 36,000 fishing boats to port, while train services between the cities of Zhanjiang and Maoming have been suspended and all ferry services between Guangdong and Hainan have been put on hold. Fujian province to the north of Guangdong is also closing beaches and tourist sites, the agency reported.

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.

Motorists negotiate a flooded street following heavy rains and strong winds brought about by the typhoon.

BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP

Motorists negotiate a flooded street following heavy rains and strong winds brought about by the typhoon.

- AP and DPA

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