Typhoon Mangkhut Ravages Southeast Asia, Now Heading Towards Southern China
While the U.S. is currently battling Hurricane Florence, Southeast Asia faces a natural threat of its own: Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which stormed through the Philippines over the weekend and claimed dozens of lives in its deadly path.
Mangkhut has been named the most powerful storm of the year by meteorologists, reaching winds as high as 170 miles per hour, making it on par with a Category 5 hurricane. For sake of comparison, Hurricane Florence was classified as a Category 2 storm when it hit the eastern seaboard of the USA.
The super typhoon slammed into northern Philippines early Saturday morning, causing landslides, floods, and power outages. As it stands, the death toll is at 66, but this number is widely expected to increase. “As we go forward, this number will go higher”, said the head of the national civil defence office, Ricardo Jalad.
Officials from the Southeast Asian country confirmed on Monday that more than 40 bodies from the wreckage of a gold miners’ bunkhouse were discovered by emergency workers, after a landslide caused by Typhoon Mangkhut buried the rural town of Itogon in a river of debris.
Dozens, including children who were working at the illegal mining site, remain missing, said Philippines authorities. The town mayor, Victorio Palangdan is not optimistic about their chances of survival, saying that he is “99% sure the people there are dead”.
After devastating the Philippines, Hong Kong became its next victim, and though the typhoon weakened, it was still one of the strongest storms to have hit the nation in the last few decades. The Hong Kong government had labelled Mangkhut “a severe threat to the region” as the people of Hong Kong and neighboring Macau stocked up on food and other necessities.
The destruction continued on early Monday morning as Mangkhut had claimed at least 4 lives and forced millions to evacuate since its arrival at Guangdong. However, as it moved towards the Guangxi Province, the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.