Manila, The most powerful typhoon to
threaten the Philippines this year roared toward the country’s north
today, prompting officials to order precautionary evacuations and
closures of schools and offices, and farmers to quickly harvest their
crops to reduce damage.
Forecasters said Typhoon Mangkhut could hit northern
Cagayan province on Saturday. It was 1,190 kilometers (738 miles)
away in the Pacific with sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour
(127 miles per hour).
Its sustained winds could strengthen to 220 kph (136 mph), or
just below the super typhoon category, before making landfall,
With a massive rain band 900 kilometers (560 miles) wide,
combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the storm could bring heavy
to intense rains that could set off landslides and flash floods.
In 2016, a super typhoon lashed the southern section of
Cagayan, destroying tens of thousands of houses. Mangkhut is
blowing from the Pacific and forecast to directly slam the province’s
northeastern coastal and island municipalities.
The typhoon is arriving at the start of the rice and corn harvest
season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were
scrambling to save what they could of their crops. The Philippines has
been trying to cope with rice shortages.
After leaving the Philippines, the fast-moving storm is expected
to blow toward southern China on Sunday if it maintains its course,
Mangkhut is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines,
which is hit by about 20 storms a year and is considered one of the
world’s most disaster-prone countries.
Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing
and displaced over 5 million in the central Philippines in 2013, the
Associated Press (AP) news reported.
Source: Oman News Agency