Super Typhoon Mangkhut bears down on Philippines

Mangkhut is heading toward Hong

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty. Category 5 hurricanes, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale, have 157 miles per hour or greater winds.

It's forecast to make landfall in Cagayan province on Saturday and lose some more power before heading to Hong Kong and South China.

Almost 43 million people in the south-east Asian region could be affected, according to United Nations' Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Mangkhut, classified by the Hong Kong Observatory as a super typhoon, is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230 kilometers per hour by Friday before gradually weakening.

Typhoon is the name given to tropical cyclones generated in the western Pacific.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Northern Luzon and Central Luzon should brace for strong winds and heavy rains as typhoon "Mangkhut" is expected to enter Philippine territory Wednesday noon.

A handout photo made available by NASA today shows a satellite image of super typhoon Mangkhut approaching the Philippines yesterday.

"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", Senator Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, said on Wednesday.

The coastal province of Guangdong in China is also in the path of the typhoon, where the coast is under threat. It will then track towards Hong Kong, hopefully just south of the major city, and could bring damaging winds and flooding there early next week.

The observatory said Mangkhut will pack winds of up to 220 kilometres per hour (136 miles per hour) as it passes through Hong Kong.

However, since the diameter of the typhoon measures at 900km wide, it is expected to affect and bring torrential rains and strong winds to the northern and most parts of Central Luzon.

While Mangkhut is not expected to cause similar destruction, Philippines authorities warned it could cause around $250 million in damages to rice and corn crops in the region.

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