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13 September 2018, 09:05 | Erica Roy
‘Mangkhut’ now a supertyphoon — US weather agency
An advisory from the JTWC on Tuesday said Mangkhut was packing winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 306 kph.
Weather expert Daniel Wu (吳德榮) told CNA today that Super Typhoon Mangkhut is the strongest storm seen on the surface of the Earth this year, even surpassing Florence, which is a category 4 hurricane, in terms of power.
Mangkhut was forecast to hit the northern Philippines on Friday and then move on to Taiwan before heading to Hong Kong and southern China by Sunday. At this stage 10 million people lie in the path of the major storm. It was located about 800 kilometers (500 miles) away in the Pacific with sustained winds of 265 kilometers (165 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 325 kph (201 mph).
Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba says coastal villages will start evacuating residents Thursday ahead of the onslaught.
While Mangkhut is now stronger than Hato -- also known as Tropical Storm Isang -- or Haima it is likely to decrease in strength as it nears southern China, particularly if it crosses land over northern Luzon, which will slow the storm, according to Guy, the meteorologist.
Senator Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, said on Wednesday: "We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm, including those who have been displaced several times due to the monsoon rains last July and August".
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