The typhoon is arriving at the start of the rice and corn harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were scrambling to save what they could of their crops, Mamba said.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, known as Super Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, is now equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane, with winds of at least 252 kilometers per hour (157 mph), stronger than Florence, which is expected to cause massive flooding and devastation in the Carolinas.

The civil defence office in Manila said towns and cities on Mangkhut's path are preparing government buildings as evacuation centres, stockpiling food and other emergency rations, and preparing rescue teams and equipment.


"The worst case are those areas which will be directly hit by strong winds that can topple houses, storm surges and heavy rains that can cause flooding, and there may be landslides in higher areas", Jalad told reporters.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered Cabinet officials to personally check on the provinces directly in the path of Typhoon "Ompong".

Should typhoon Mangkhut follow its projected path, Taiwan and Hong Kong are next in line to be hit.

About 20 cyclones pass through the disaster-prone country each year. The center of Mangkhut will make its closest approach to Taipei on Sept 15 and Hong Kong on Sept 16.


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