Super Typhoon “Mangkhut” leaves at least 108 people dead and more than 500 000 affected in Philippines

Super Typhoon “Mangkhut,” known in the Philippines as Ompong, made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan at 17:40 UTC on September 14 (01:40 PHT, September 15), 2018, with maximum sustained winds near 268 km/h (167 mph), making it a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The typhoon left a trail of destruction across Luzon and at least 108 people dead or missing.

Mangkhut is the 15th and strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year and one of the strongest on record. 

It left key agricultural areas on Luzon underwater, triggered dozens of landslides and left much of the region without communications and electricity, making damage assessment extremely difficult.

Initial official estimates mention a total of 250 730 tonnes of paddy rice lost which exceeded a worst-case forecast by 60%.

As a result, the prices of vegetables in the region, Philippines bread and basket, have almost doubled.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Mangkhut left a total of 591 769 people affected from the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and Metro Manila.

The NDRRMC said a total of 229 areas were flooded in the Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon as of Sunday. Of this, floods in 35 areas already subsided.

About 79 homes were also totally wrecked while 372 were partially damaged in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and CAR.

The official death toll has reached 65 early Monday, September 17. However, emergency workers in CAR later recovered 43 bodies of illegal gold miners who were taking shelter in a bunkhouse when they were hit by a massive landslide. This rose the death toll to 108 and the number is still expected to rise as some estimates suggest there were more than 70 miners in the area. Some estimated there were more than 100 miners at the site.

The government declared seven provinces and cities under a state of calamity.

Mangkhut has since moved on to southern China where officials evacuated more than 2.4 million people from Guangdong province. The typhoon caused extensive damage and major flooding, leaving at least 4 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Featured image credit: Kealoha

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