At least 12 dead as Typhoon Mangkhut lashes Philippines

Super Typhoon Mangkhut threatens China

Super Typhoon Mangkhut claims first victims

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

Philippine authorities have said they are better prepared than in 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan devastated central areas of the country and killed 6,300 people.

"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", Philippines Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said in a statement.

After striking the Philippines in the northeastern Cagayan province on Saturday, super typhoon Mangkhut is expected to weaken but carry on with potential for storm impacts in Taiwan and hurricane force winds in Hong Kong and mainland China possible.

In the Philippines, the government has issued tropical cyclone warnings for Mangkhut (known as Ompong locally) across sixteen provinces in Luzon and the Visayas Islands.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong and the Philippines are both bracing for Super Typhoon Mangkhut which is also expected to make landfall soon, CNN reports.

At least four million people are in the direct path of Mangkhut.

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Tolentino, who has been assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to help coordinate disaster response, said at least two other people were missing and added that the death toll could climb to at least 16 once other casualty reports were verified.

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.

Evacuation of several thousand has been taking place in Philippines, as 4 million residents in the north brace for the direct hit of this mammoth Typhoon.

According to GDACS, the storm formed over the northwestern Pacific Ocean last Friday and strengthened as it moved past the Mariana Islands and the U.S. territory of Guam.

It is the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in Cagayan province, where farmers have been scrambling to save what they can of their crops.

The airline said the cancellations were due to typhoon Mangkhut, which has been battering the region with torrential rains and ferocious winds.

On Guam, where Mangkhut passed, residents dealt with flooded streets, downed trees and widespread power outages.

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The Hong Kong Observatory warned residents to prepare for the storm, saying it posed a "considerable threat".

"They can't decide for themselves where to go", he said of the children, expressing frustration that the tragedy was not prevented.

Tens of thousands of people were stranded in various ports in Luzon and the Visayas while thousands of families were also forced to flee their houses over warnings that the weather disturbance is packing a strong wind nearly similar to typhoon Yolanda.

The typhoon is now moving west towards China.

Mangkhut was packing sustained winds of 160 kilometres (105 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 195 km per hour as it hurtled across the sea towards China's heavily populated southern coast.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said in a statement it's cancelling all flights in and out of Hong Kong on Sunday beginning at 2:30 am, and wouldn't resume operations until 4 am the following day.

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