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16 September 2018, 12:11 | Devin Moran
Strong winds cut communication lines in the northern province of Cagayan, causing the local government to lose contact with far-flung areas where the typhoon made landfall, Governor Manuel Mamba told CNN.
The HKO raised the third highest No. 8 typhoon signal at 1:10 a.m. and replaced it with signal No. 9 at 7:40 a.m. Sunday before raising hurricane signal No. 10 at 9:40 a.m.as fierce waves pounded low-lying areas and strong winds rattled windows in numerous city's towering skyscrapers.
Typhoon Mangkhut killed at least 28 people in the Philippines as it obliterated homes and crops and caused massive flooding, and is now on course to plough into China's coast.
Authorities in some areas of northern Luzon turned off power as a precaution, and said some residents in high-risk areas chose to ride out the storm to protect homes from looters.
The Philippines military is sending two C-130 airplanes and 10 helicopters to Cagayan province for typhoon relief and rescue efforts, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Saturday, according to Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Mangkhut was packing sustained winds of 170 kilometres (105 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 260 km per hour as it left the Philippines.
As the powerful storm left the Southeast Asian archipelago and barrelled towards densely populated Hong Kong and southern China, search teams in the Philippines began surveying the provinces that suffered a direct hit.
Mangkhut is now a Cat 5 Typhoon packing winds of 285 kmph.
"They [authorities] said this typhoon is twice as strong as the last typhoon, that's why we are terrified", Myrna Parallag, 53, told reporters after fleeing her home in the northern Philippines. Authorities are also checking what happened to about 70 men who reportedly returned to their coastal village to check on their homes during the typhoon onslaught.
It now packed sustained winds of 155 kilometers (96 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 190 kph (118 mph).
A government damage assessment was underway except in areas still being battered by winds and rain.
The Philippines is counting the human and economic cost of Typhoon Mangkhut, which ripped through its main island with deadly consequences on Saturday.
Faustino Dy, governor or Isabela province, said there were no reported casualties there, but farmland had been badly hit and the extent of infrastructure damage was unclear.
About 87,000 people had evacuated from high-risk areas of the Philippines.
It will first pass by Hong Kong, where storm warnings have been raised to their highest level and hundreds of people have been evacuated to storm shelters, with businesses boarded up and most flights cancelled.
China and the Philippines agreed to postpone a visit by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi that was to start on Sunday due to the typhoon's onslaught.
Mangkhut could be one of the strongest storms to have an impact on Hong Kong in more than six decades. One official said: "'you can't walk, you can't even crawl", when warning residents not to venture outside.
As the storm is on pace to hit China's southern coast on Sunday, Cathay Pacific warned travellers that it expected more than 400 flight cancellations over the next three days.
"Because Mangkhut will bring winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity, our preparation and response efforts will be greater than in the past", Ka-chiu said, according to the Associated Press.
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