Hundreds of flights cancelled as Super Typhoon heads for Hong Kong


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

At least 12 people have died after Typhoon Mangkhut caused landslides, ripped off roofs and brought down trees in the Philippines.

A hurricane force "super typhoon" is swirling towards Hong Kong and the Chinese coast, gaining in force over the South China sea after hurtling through the Philippines where it left at least three people dead.

Roughly four million people were in the path of destruction the storm slashed through the northern tip of Luzon island, leaving at least four dead.

Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino said about 87,000 people had been evacuated from high-risk areas, while there were storm warnings in 10 northern provinces.

MANILA, Philippines - All tropical cyclone warning signals due to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) were lifted as of 5 am on Sunday, September 16, as the typhoon continued moving away outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

Almost half a million people had been evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province of China, and the Hong Kong Observatory warned people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour landmark, where storm surges battered the waterfront reinforced with sandbags.

Determined not to see a repeat of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6000 people in the central Philippines in 2013, officials had evacuated more than 105,000 people to temporary shelters before Typhoon Mangkhut hit.

Mangkhut, the Thai name for Southeast Asia's mangosteen fruit, was expected to skirt 100 km (62 miles) south of Hong Kong and veer west towards the coast of China's Guangdong province, and the gaming center of Macau.

Impacts may also be felt in northern Vietnam once typhoon Mangkhut has moved further ahead.

More than 98,000 without power in U.S. Southeast as Florence approaches
Sprayberry delivered one of his final briefings before the storm hit on Thursday as Hurricane Florence began her dramatic descent. Tropical Storm Isaac became Tropical Depression Isaac Friday morning. "This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina".

The Tuguegarao airport terminal was badly damaged, its roof and glass windows shattered by strong winds that also sent chairs, tables and papers flipping about inside, Lorenzana said.

Office of Civil Defense chief Ricardo Jalad told an emergency meeting led by President Rodrigo Duterte that about 4.2 million people in Cagayan, nearby Isabela province and outlying provincial regions are vulnerable to the most destructive effects near the typhoon's 125-kilometer (77-mile) -wide eye.

Police also said a body had been found in a river in Manila.

Farmers in the region, which produces a significant portion of the Philippines' corn and rice, were rushing to bring in crops that could be destroyed by flooding.

"The rains will be strong and the winds are no joke".

CNN reported storm has 180 miles per hour wind speeds (285 kph).

The observatory warned of rough seas and frequent heavy squalls, urging residents of the densely populated financial hub to "take suitable precautions and pay close attention to the latest information" on the storm. Tens of thousands more have been evacuated from China's Guangdong province, CNN reported.

Mr Ka-chiu added: "Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst".

As it exits the Philippines, typhoon Mangkhut is predicted to hit Hong Kong on Sunday. Airlines such as its flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, cancelled many flights last week.