Typhoon Mangkhut: 54 dead in Philippines

Manila: At least 54 people were killed in the Philippines on Sunday after Typhoon Mangkhut wreaked havoc in the island nation as the storm continued its devastating path and made landfall in Hong Kong and mainland China.

The typhoon, dubbed as the world’s strongest storm of the year, had made landfall in the Philippines on Saturday. With winds reaching a speed of up to 165 mph, the storm sent debris flying, toppling roofs of houses, crashing down trees and flattening huts, CNN reported.

According to government officials on Sunday, 42 people were missing and rescue operations to trace those missing will resume on Monday. Over 2, 50,000 people were affected by the storm across the island nation, forcing them to seek shelter in evacuation centres in the northern Philippines, a region which has seen 51 incidents of landslides.

Harry Rogue, the spokesperson for Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, told CNN that most of the casualties occurred due to landslides in Cordillera Administrative Region in northern Luzon. Duterte also undertook a visit to the affected areas to take stock of the situation and oversee the rescue operations.

Meanwhile, the governor of Benguet province Crescencio Carino Pacalso said that those missing were believed to be miners working in small villages in Itogon municipality.

As Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in Hong Kong on Sunday, gusty winds sent debris flying, smashing trees, blowing roofs off and led to massive flooding, triggered by storm surge, inundating parts of the city. As of now, no deaths or injuries have been reported.

The storm is expected to dump torrential downpour in Hong Kong and flood warnings have been issued for low-lying areas in the city. Other cities such as Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai were also put on high alert.

Flights were cancelled in Shenzhen and Hainan in anticipation of the storm. According to Chinese media, over 2.45 million people have been evacuated in Guangdong province as the typhoon made landfall at 5 pm (local time) on Sunday.