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Super Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in the Philippines

Super Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in the Philippines

A Philippine official has confirmed that Typhoon Mangkhut has left at least 12 people dead.

"Tinitingnan po namin at inaayos na po namin as of this time yung very high frequency and high frequency satellite communication system nang sa gayon kung may eroplanong darating ay mkakalanding po sila at may communication", Tugade said in a phone interview.

The system is hovering some 280 miles, or 450 kilometers, from the Philippines.

Formerly classified as a super typhoon, Mangkhut is known as Ompong in the Philippines - as NPR's global correspondent Julie McCarthy reports, the government gives it a "Filipino cast" to engage the public.

Mangkhut is the strongest storm formed in the Pacific along with being one of the deadliest in the history of Pacific Storms.

"All things being equal, Mangkhut is a bigger, stronger and more risky storm" than Hurricane Florence, a Category 1 storm battering the US Southeast coast, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. Earlier on Saturday, the storm left at least 16 dead in the Philippines earlier in the day as it lashed Luzon with sustained winds of over 105 miles per hour and gusts of almost 162 miles per hour and inundated the archipelago's northern island with floodwaters. "It has been raining nonstop".

At least 134 flights have been canceled across the country and the Coast Guard reported more than 4,000 people have been stranded because of ferry disruptions in the archipelago.

Duterte asked Cabinet officials from the north to help oversee disaster-response work if needed, and told reporters it was too early to consider seeking foreign aid. "If it flattens everything, maybe we need to have some help", the president said.

"Representatives from relevant bureaus and departments also reported their preparatory work and contingency plans, particularly on measures in the prevention and handling of flooding, backflow of seawater and emergency plans for high-risk locations", a government statement read.

According to AccuWeather, the typhoon could also potentially reach the southern and eastern coasts of Taiwan.

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Historically, typhoons of this magnitude generate hundreds, sometimes thousands of deaths.

Greg Browning, a tropical climatologist with Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, told that Mangkhut was the planet's most powerful storm system to have developed this year. Officials were anxious that Mangkhut could be just as catastrophic.

"We are especially concerned for those communities who have been cut off by flooding and landslides, and families exhausted from having to move from their homes up to three times already in the last two months due to heavy monsoon rains".

The Philippines began evacuating thousands of people Thursday, but more than 4 million people remain at risk in Luzon, the country's agricultural center for rice and corn.

"Evacuations are not really done sooner, which is really bad", Robil said.

Typhoon Mangkhut is on course to hit north-eastern Cagayan province early on Saturday.

Cayetano said the assistance is similar to what the DFA extended to OFWs affected by the runway closure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last month.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said the typhoon may cause billions in damage to some crops, but that there was enough rice supply for the next 96 days.

As it exits the Philippines, typhoon Mangkhut is predicted to hit Hong Kong on Sunday.