At least 3 dead as typhoon lashes Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, second from left, observes the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council operation center in metropolitan Manila, Philippines.

The Philippines is counting the human and economic cost of Typhoon Mangkhut, which ripped through its main island with deadly consequences on Saturday.

Signs were seen hanging off shop fronts, sheet metal roofs peeled off and debris was strewn across urban roads.

With a huge raincloud band 560 miles wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon, which has been named Mangkhut, could set off landslides and flash floods.

Businesses and residents on Luzon, an island home to millions, were making last-minute preparations as forecasters warned of wind gusts as high as 255 kilometers per hour.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to barrel through the northernmost tip of the Philippines on Saturday morning, carrying 205kph wind speeds, and gusts of up to 255kph, that it has maintained since it struck Micronesia earlier in the week.

Mangkhut is expected move on from the Philippines on Sunday.

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At its peak, the hurricane had 140 mile-per-hour winds, the equivalent of a Category 4 storm on the US Saffir-Simpson scale.

In Tuguegarao, residents had braced for the typhoon's fury by reinforcing homes and buildings and stocking up on food.

"Every minute counts. Immediate evacuation should be to areas that are more than 10 meters above sea level, regardless of distance from the coastline", Malaya advised.

Filipino villagers lift electric wires in the typhoon-hit town of Lal-lo, Cagayan province, Philippines, Sept. 15, 2018.

"We really learned a lot from the Haiyan experience", Catherine Cabarles, a school teacher in Quezon City, told NPR before Mangkhut arrived.

The ferocious typhoon has ravaged the Philippines killing at least 12 people as hundreds of thousands take refuge in temporary shelters.

Based on current projections, Hong Kong and Macau will potentially bear the worst of Mangkhut, which could be one of the strongest storms to hit Hong Kong in over six decades.

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"The weather here is still good but we're moving them now because it's very important that when it comes, people will be away from peril", Mamba said.

Storm warnings remained in effect in 10 northern provinces, including Cagayan, which could still be lashed by devastating winds, forecasters said.

It is the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in Cagayan province, where farmers have been scrambling to save what they can of their crops.

Fears have been raised about the storm's possible effect on agriculture in Cagayan and Isabela, where the bulk of the Philippines' rice is grown.

Though it will weaken from a super typhoon to a severe typhoon, it will still be packing sustained winds of 109mph.

Low-lying areas city such as Lei Yue Mun and Tai O face the risk of flooding and officials have made evacuation plans for more than 1,000 residents living in these areas. More than 3,000 shelters have been set up in the southern Guangdong province, and more than 100,000 residents and tourists have either been moved to safety or sent home.

Chinese authorities in Guangdong province have called back more than 30,000 fishing boats and taken precautions at two nuclear power plants that are in the storm's path.

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