At least three dead as powerful typhoon hits Philippines

Philippines surveys damage as Typhoon Mangkhut slows

Hong Kong raises typhoon alert to highest level as Mangkhut closes in

The storm, originating in the Pacific Ocean and first hitting Guam and the Marshall Islands, has been deadly with its high power winds hitting rural communities in The Philippines and then into Chinese business hub, Hong Kong yesterday.

Mangkhut is already the storm of 2018, and is now packing sustained winds of 165 km, with gusts up to 205 km per hour. Most shops and public services were shut, and about 900 flights were cancelled at Hong Kong International Airport.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said that at the height of the typhoon's onslaught Saturday afternoon, dozens of people, mostly miners and their families, rushed into an old three-story building in the village of Ucab.

Forecasters said early Saturday that the typhoon made landfall in the coastal town of Baggao in Cagayan province almost two hours after midnight in the northern tip of the main Luzon island.

The typhoon, or "King of Storms", as Chinese media describe it, is expected to make landfall in Guangdong between Zhuhai and Wuchuan in the evening, weather officials say.

Hong Kong authorities had been warning residents to prepare for the storm for days, and on Saturday, grocery stores were packed with people stocking up on goods.

At least 65 people died when the storm swept through the northern Philippines over the weekend before lashing southern China. Mangkhut hit the Philippines on Saturday and Hong Kong on Sunday before weakening to a tropical storm Monday in inland China, where four have died.

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Hopes are fading for dozens of people trapped after a major landslide in the Philippines following the devastation caused by Typhoon Mangkhut. By 2 p.m., the typhoon, which was downgraded from a super typhoon to a severe typhoon, was centered about 62 miles south of Hong Kong and is expected to move westward toward mainland China.

It said Mangkhut was located in Hengxian in Guangxi at 6am and had weakened to a "tropical storm". "The Hong Kong Observatory said the intensity of the storm, which required a typhoon signal No 10 to stay in place for 10 hours, was the most powerful since records began in 1946".

Parts of Hong Kong and Macau were severely flooded, though there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

Forecasters said the southwest monsoon enhanced by the typhoon will bring gusty winds with occasional moderate to heavy rains over Visayas in the central Philippines, while scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains over Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, northern Mindanao in the southern Philippines and Cargo Administrative region in the northeastern section of Mindanao.

The rescue work halted for the night before resuming Monday morning.

The workers used pikes and shovels to dig into the mud Monday morning, with the use of heavy equipment limited on the soaked ground. Buildings swayed as sustained winds of about 96 miles per hour continued to slam against them.

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