Hundreds of flights cancelled as Super Typhoon heads for Hong Kong

Super Typhoon Mangkhut threatens China

Weather experts said it could be the strongest tropical storm to hit the territory in decades.

"We are really frightened".

"As much as possible, stay indoors", Chris Perez, a forecaster for the state weather service, warned the roughly four million people in the path of the storm after it landed at 1:40 a.m. (1740 Friday GMT).

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said he expected widespread damage to crops and infrastructure in his province and said help would be needed to rebuild. Storm warnings were raised in 25 provinces across Luzon, restricting sea and air travel.

It has maximum sustained winds of 270 kilometers per hour (165 mph), with gusts as high as 325 kilometers per hour (200 mph), the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane.

Authorities were also checking what happened to about 70 men who reportedly returned to their coastal village to check on their homes during risky storm surges that brought walls of seawater whipping inland.

"During previous monsoon rains, half of our house was destroyed so I wanted to take my grandchildren to safety", she said.

The deadliest storm on record in the Philippines is Super Typhoon Haiyan, which also sparked category four alerts.

As of Thursday afternoon, Mangkhut was spotted 575 km east-northeast of the Philippines with winds reaching speeds up to 255 km/h.

"We believe there has been a lot of damage", said Social Welfare Secretary Virginia Orogo as thousands of evacuees took refuge in emergency shelters.

Relief workers wade through flood waters to rescue stranded people in Brgy. Sagud-Bahley San Fabian in Pangasinan after Typhoon Mangkhut known locally as Ompong hit the Philippines in this still image taken from
Super Typhoon Mangkhut claims first victims

Mangkhut, expected to cross the South China Sea and strike Guangdong by Sunday, had ripped into the northern Philippines early on Saturday with winds of up to 269kmh. "We were too scared to remain".

Carillo, whose organization has prepared relief packages for 4,000 families, said that they are braced for the worst, "But we are ready".

- WeatherWatch.co.nz - With thanks to our official partners at The Weather Company/IBM for the detailed eastern Asia information.

Known locally as Ompong, Typhoon Mangkhut left the Philippines and moved towards Hong Kong and southern China in the evening.

Emergency services, medical teams and volunteers are on standby to help people hit by the storm.

The airline's regional arm, Cathay Dragon, has also cancelled flights.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is hurtling through the Pacific, boasting maximum wind speeds of 180 miles per hour that threaten millions of people across Asia in what is estimated to be one of the strongest systems on record.

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.

Macau's Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau warned that Manghkut would "pose a serious threat" to the Pearl River Delta, where the city is located.

Cathay is among at least five global airlines, including Singapore Airlines, that have announced flight delays and cancellations before Super Typhoon Mangkhut bears down on the city.

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Super Typhoon Mangkhut was expected to hit an area in the Philippines on Saturday that would affect 5.2 million people. Before sunrise, high winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018 .

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