February 28, 2021 | 12:44 PM IST

Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions at risk in Philippines

Philippine authorities have issued red alert and begun evacuating thousands of people living in the areas which are at high risk of the most powerful typhoon. All schools will remain shut, bulldozers are ready for landslides, and team of rescuers and troops have been deployed to the country’s north. Are five million people are expected to be affected by Typhoon Mangkhut, a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts equivalent to a category 5 hurricane. By Friday morning, 10,000 people across three regions had been evacuated and 22 domestic flights were cancelled. Wind speeds of current Mangkhut are up to 285 km/per hour (180 mph). Mangkhut is current lashing the US East Coast and is likely to make landfall on the Philippines Island of Luzon Island on Saturday. With a 900km wide rain band - which is 50 per cent bigger than Haiyan’s - combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon could also set off landslides, according to forecasters. Office of Civil Defense Chief Ricardo Jalad told an emergency meeting led by the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that about 4.2 million people in Cagayan, nearby Isabela province and outlying regions were vulnerable to the most destructive effects near the typhoon’s 125km-wide eye. Nearly 48,000 houses in those high-risk areas are made of light materials and vulnerable to Mangkhut’s ferocious winds.

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