Typhoon Mangkhut intensifies as it nears PHL, exit forecast is Sunday

Typhoon Mangkhut is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230kph by Sept 14 2018 before gradually weakening

It is now barreling across the Pacific Ocean with wind gusts of more than 178 mph an hour (287 kph).

A super typhoon roared toward the Philippines on Thursday, prompting thousands to evacuate ahead of its heavy rains and fierce winds that are set to strike at the weekend before moving on to China.

In the Philippines, 10 million people are living in the path of the powerful cyclone, according to the Red Cross which has placed its teams in Northern Luzon on alert.

Now super Typhoon Mangkhut is located in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, with maximum wind speed in the center reaching 240 km/h.

Forecasters said Typhoon Mangkhut, considered as the strongest this year, could hit northern Cagayan province on Saturday.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is predicting Mangkhut will leave "substantial damage" in its path.

"I worry especially for houses made of light materials", said Marilou Cayco, governor of Batanes, a chain of seven remote islands 240 km (149 miles) off the mainland where she said up to 3,000 families could be "battered".

Governor Manuel Mamba of the Philippines island of Cagayan said officials would start evacuating islanders on September 13.

Norman reduced to a tropical storm
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the eye and tropical storm-force winds extend up to 115 miles. A tropical storm could bring heavy rain and flooding, especially in places that are saturated from previous storms.

'It is expected that on day 15, Mangkhut will enter the South China Sea at super-typhoon level and at night approach the Guangdong coast.

The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year is threatening the farmlands in Northern Luzon just before the rice and corn harvest.

While Mangkhut is now stronger than Hato -- also known as Tropical Storm Isang -- or Haima it is likely to decrease in strength as it nears southern China, particularly if it crosses land over northern Luzon, which will slow the storm, according to Guy, the meteorologist.

Philippines' Office of Civil Defence chief Ricardo Jalad said low-lying areas in northern regions would be evacuated on Thursday.

The typhoon is expected to boost the intensity of seasonal monsoon rains that have already caused widespread flooding in central Luzon, a mainly farming region north of capital Manila. Residents covered glass windows with wood, strengthened houses with rope and wooden braces and moved fishing boats to safety.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

Floods, landslides and huge waves could put millions at risk as Typhoon Mangkhut hurtles towards the Philippines and Hong Kong. About 80 per cent of the United States territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning.

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