Typhoon Ompong enters PH; Signal number 1 up in Catanduanes

The violent Super Typhoon Mangkhut now has sustained winds of 130mph (200km/h) - the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane and the winds of Hurricane Florence which is racing towards the south-east coast of the US.

Mangkut has already caused widespread devastation when it torn through the Marshall Islands and Guam - American territories in the Pacific.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System said up to 43.3 million people could be affected by the storm in the Philippines and southern China.

Mangkhut has already swept past the USA territory of Guam, in the western Pacific, where it caused flooding and power outages.

The highest wind speeds could reach up to 136 mph (220km per hour).

Mangkhut, the 22nd typhoon this year, will pass through the Philippines with estimated maximum sustained winds of 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour), reported The Philippine Star.

Mangkhut is forecast to be the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year and is threatening farmlands in Northern Luzon just before the rice and corn harvest.

Mangkhut, to be named Ompong once it enters the Philippines, has intensified, according to the local weather bureau.

The typhoon is expected to make seasonal monsoon rains in the Philippines even more intense and put a further seven million people at risk.

Classes have also been cancelled in some areas of Luzon in the path of the typhoon. The Pearl River Delta region, which includes Hong Kong and Macau, is among the most densely populated in the world.

"Hong Kong as of the forecast now will be on the right quadrant of the storm with the greatest impacts from wind, rain and storm surge along that coast line", he said.

The current track of Mangkhut is that the typhoon is likely to brush northern Luzon, a less populated part of the largest island in the Philippines, which is home to the capital, Manila.

According to HKO, the storm is expected to skirt around 100 to 200 kilometers (62 to 124 miles) south of Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon, bringing strong winds and rain. With more than 111 million residents, the most populous province of China will embrace the super typhoon on Sunday before it is expected to downgrade to a severe tropical storm next Monday.

Vanessa Coleman

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