Philippines braces for worst typhoon of the year

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The Philippines is preparing for the most powerful storm to hit so far this year as Super Typhoon Mangkhut bears down on the islands.

As the United States east coast braces for Hurricane Florence, an even stronger super typhoon is barreling down on southeast Asia, with Hong Kong and Macau square in its path.

MANILA-Moderate to heavy rains are expected in most parts of the country starting Wednesday (Sept. 12) as the strong typhoon with global name "Mangkhut" continues to gain strength and moves westward into the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

The Social Welfare Bureau president, Vong Yim Mui, speaking on the sidelines on the opening ceremony of the "Hato Education Sponsorship Fund", said that Macau is prepared for the upcoming typhoon and that all 16 shelters running under the Bureau's supervision "are already prepared and ready to enter into operation as soon as the government decides".

The typhoon is approaching at the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were scrambling to save what they could of their crops, Mamba said. It is carrying maximum sustained winds of 205 kph and gusts of 255 kph.

"The typhoon is threatening Northern Luzon and may traverse the Cagayan-Batanes area this Saturday". In the province of Benguet and Kalinga, at least 136 people have been evacuated, according to the civil defence office.

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

Shoppers were stocking up on fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and meat, with many stores selling out their wares earlier than usual, according to the South China Morning Post.

"The worst case are those areas which will be directly hit by strong winds that can topple houses, storm surges and heavy rains that can cause flooding, and there may be landslides in higher areas", Jalad told reporters.

Authorities said some 10 million people in the Philippines are in the storm's path, not including millions more in heavily-populated coastal China.

About 20 cyclones pass through the disaster-prone country each year.

The Hong Kong Observatory said Mangkhut is expected to reach China's southeastern coast on Sunday. It's the rain that could be the biggest issue with latest updates on what Florence may do after making landfall looking much more concerning for a major flood event in both North and SC.