Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions at risk as cyclone hurtles towards Philippines

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Forecasters said Typhoon Mangkhut could hit northern Cagayan province on Saturday.

In the 5 a.m. weather update of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the eye of Ompong was located at 875 kilometers East of Virac, Catanduanes and has maintained its strength with maximum sustained winds of up to 205 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 255 kph.

However, Wu said that the presence of a high pressure system over the Pacific around Taiwan and the slightly southward tilt of Mangkhut's path, the odds of the typhoon making landfall on Taiwan have been reduced.

Thousands are evacuating seaside areas of the northern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, where the storm is expected to make landfall early Saturday.

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While Mangkhut is now stronger than Hato -- also known as Tropical Storm Isang -- or Haima it is likely to decrease in strength as it nears southern China, particularly if it crosses land over northern Luzon, which will slow the storm, according to Guy, the meteorologist.

Typhoon Mangkhut has already hit Guam resulting in flooding of streets, uprooting of trees as well as widespread power outages.

The Pacific Daily News reported government agencies were conducting damage assessments and beginning to clear roads.

About 80 per cent of the US territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning.

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Luzon was devastated by Super Typhoon Haima - known as Lawin locally - in 2016, with 14,000 houses destroyed and 50,000 homes damaged, according to CNN Philippines.

"I'm stressing that this one is very different". The Philippines has been trying to cope with rice shortages.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered Cabinet officials to personally check on the provinces directly in the path of Typhoon "Ompong".

The Thai Meteorological Department is cautioning many parts of Thailand that they will experience a large amount of precipitation from Tropical Storm "Barijat", which will affect the northern and northeastern regions today and tomorrow, and Typhoon "Mangkhut", which will affect the windward areas of the central, eastern, and southwestern region from this Sunday until next Tuesday.

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The storm's current path has it passing through the Luzon Strait between the Philippines and southern Taiwan, before continuing on to Hong Kong and Macau. The center of Mangkhut will make its closest approach to Taipei on Sept 15 and Hong Kong on Sept 16.

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