Super Typhoon Mangkhut Threatens 37 Million People, Philippines Braces For Impact

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While weather event gaining the attention of most people in the United States has been Hurricane Florence, those in Asia have focused on Super Typhoon Magkhut which is forecast to hit the Philippines on Saturday CNN reports.

Magkhut is stronger than Florence, with winds recorded at 180 mph making the storm equal to a Category 5 hurricane like hurricanes Irma and Maria were last year. Category 5 is the highest classification for a hurricane, with Katrina, which caused $125 billion of damage making it the most expensive storm in recorded history being in that category.

The super typhoon follows on from several smaller typhoons to hit Asia this season, with Typhoon Barijat having already hit the same region.

Super Typhoon Magkhut has already left a trail of destruction in its wake having already hit the U.S. dependencies of Guam and the Marshall Islands which both experienced large floods and lost electricity, some parts of Guam have not recovered power.

There are bad memories in the Philippines of earlier storms, with Typhoon Haiyan having hit much of the country in 2013 taking the lives of over 6,000 people. More recently Luzon, the most northerly island of the Philippines, experienced Super Typhoon Haima which destroyed 14,000 homes in the north of the island.

The storm is projected to go through Northern Luzon before weakening to a Category 4 storm, clipping Hong Kong as a Category 3 and then gaining strength back to Category 4 before it hits Macau and then on to Mainland China by Monday.

Effects of the storm will be similar to what was seen with Florence’s arrival in New Bern, North Carolina which, as reported by the Inquisitr, has brought flooding and widespread power loss. The geography of the Philippines adds some other complications with the mountainous areas also impacted with expected landslides.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has met with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to determine what emergency procedures would need to be activated. The NDRRMC has already sent relief items, including food, to areas they expect to be heavily impacted, and Duterte deployed the military to Northern Luzon to help with preparations and to be ready for the recovery effort.

Predictions from the NDRRMC say that 4.2 million people will be impacted by the storm in the Philippines alone, with Business Insider reporting that 37 million people are in the path of the storm according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Evacuations from the storm have spread from Guam in the south-east all the way to the Chinese province of Guangdong in the northwest, a distance stretching over 2,100 miles almost the entire length of the United States.

The Super Typhon continues a trend for Asia this season, with Magkhut expected to be the strongest storm to ever hit several countries, including Hong Kong.