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Typhoon Slams into the Philippines


Live Briefing

Heavy rain in Tuguegarao, a Philippine city in the path of Typhoon Mangkhut, as residents prepare for its approach.CreditCreditJes Aznar/Getty Images

See our latest coverage on Typhoon Mangkhut here.

Typhoon Mangkhut struck the Philippines early Saturday after thousands of people evacuated their homes to dodge the 550-mile wide storm as it roared across the Pacific with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour.

The ferocity of the typhoon in some ways eclipsed Hurricane Florence on the other side of the world, pummeling the Mid-Atlantic Coast of the United States with life-threatening rains.

The eye of Mangkhut, known as Ompong in the Philippines, made landfall on the northern island of Luzon, the country’s rice and corn growing heartland, where more than four million people are at risk, early Saturday around 1:40 a.m.

The storm, gusting at speeds equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, passed the American territory of Guam on Thursday, knocking out 80 percent of the island’s electricity and downing trees and power lines. Catch up on the rest of our storm coverage.

Wind, rain batter Luzon as storm makes landfall

By Friday evening, the northern and central portions of Luzon were already feeling the strength of Mangkhut, even as the eye of the hurricane was hours away from making landfall. When it slammed into the coast at around 1:40 a.m., with the eye making landfall over Baggao in Cagayan Province.

Strong winds and rain battered Tuguegarao City in the northeastern Philippines on Friday.CreditAaron Favila/Associated Press

A reporter from the same news network, Jeff Canoy, shared a video of the view outside his hotel in Tuguegarao, capital of Cagayan Province, late Friday night as rain lashed city streets.

Footage taken elsewhere in Cagayan Province on Friday show strong winds and heavy rains battering buildings and bending tree trunks as the storm approached.

The national weather service of the Philippines expected the typhoon to make landfall over Cagayan on Saturday between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

It estimated that the typhoon could bring a 20-foot storm surge in Cagayan and Ilocos Norte provinces by early Saturday and reach up to six and a half feet in Isabela and Ilocos Sur provinces.

The heavily populated Metro Manila area, further south on Luzon Island, seemed to have been spared the worst of the storm. Early Saturday, the national weather service was warning of strong winds and moderate rain in that area — issuing the lowest level alert — but flooding was still possible in low lying areas.

Rescuers put on high alert

Police passed out safety information to residents of the coastal village of Lei Yu Mun on Friday.CreditAnthony Wallace/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Across the Philippines, schools have been shuttered, home and business owners have boarded their windows and the military has been put on high alert.

President Rodrigo Duterte barred troops from taking leave, and ordered that illegally imported rice seized by customs officials at the country’s ports should be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for potential disaster relief.

Hundreds of bulldozers were made ready in the event of landslides, and rescue workers were being deployed across the country. In some cases, Mr. Duterte said, resources that had already been dispatched were being moved to get them out of the path of the storm.

A difficult choice for farmers: harvest or evacuate?

Harvesting water spinach before Typhoon Mangkhut hit on the main island of Luzon, in the Philippines.CreditErik De Castro/Reuters

Hong Kong and Southern China are next in the storm’s path

Sandbags at a village in Lei Yue Mun in Hong Kong on Friday in preparation for the approaching typhoon.CreditVincent Yu/Associated Press

The lessons of Typhoon Haiyan

Parts of the Philippines were reduced to rubble by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.CreditBryan Denton for The New York Times
People bought food in Tuguegarao as the typhoon approached on Friday.CreditJes Aznar/Getty Images

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