People rush to safety ahead of typhoon in the Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm mammoth rains likely

Typhoon Mangkhut to intensify into deadly Cat 5 storm, mammoth rains likely

Filipino forecaster Meno Mendoza illustrates the path of Typhoon Mangkhut, locally named "Typhoon Ompong" as it approaches the Philippines with sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour (127 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 255 kph (158 mph), at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in metropolitan Manila, Philippines.

Forecasters have said Mangkhut is the strongest typhoon of 2018, measuring 900km in diameter.

Cebu Station announced the cancellation of all trips from Cebu starting at 12 p.m.

Thousands are evacuating seaside areas of the northern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, where the storm is expected to make landfall early Saturday.

Philippine authorities began evacuating thousands of people Thursday in the path of the most powerful typhoon this year, closing schools, readying bulldozers for landslides and placing rescuers and troops on full alert in the country's north.

The Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has asked relevant authorities to stay in contact with fishing boasts in their jurisdictions as a precaution and ensure safety of residents in storm-prone areas. "They say it is so strong", said Delaila Pasion who had fled her home.

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Schools were shuttered and some farmers took to their fields to start early harvest of corn and rice that could be ruined by flooding.

More than 4 million people are in the path of the most destructive typhoon-force winds in northern Luzon.

The Philippines is preparing for the most powerful storm to hit so far this year as Super Typhoon Mangkhut bears down on the islands.

'It will bring destruction. Even moderate winds can topple their houses, ' regional civil defence official Dante Balao told AFP.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it expects "substantial damage" in the Philippines.

Residents living near the coastal areas especially in Cagayan and Isabela area are advised to evacuate due to the expected storm surge which can reach up to six meters.

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Super Typhoon Mangkhut, also known as Ompong in the Philippines, is heading towards the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, over the next three days.

Speaking at a news conference, Duterte said there is no need yet to seek foreign aid, and it would "depend on the severity of the crisis".

The Hong Kong Observatory issued a No 3 typhoon signal on Wednesday as winds gathered strength with tropical storm Barijat - a No 3 signal is a definite warning that a tropical cyclone is expected to come near enough to Hong Kong to cause strong winds in Hong Kong.

Social media users and radio commentators in Hong Kong said they were stocking up on food and supplies.

But that's not the only measurement that illustrates the storm's huge strength - or the threat it poses to those in its path.

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