Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Typhoon Mangkhut: Death Toll Increases to 81 in Philippines, Expected to Rise

AFP | Rescuers carry a body bag containing the body of a victim of a landslide during heavy rains at the height of Typhoon Mangkhut in Itogon town AFP | Rescuers carry a body bag containing the body of a victim of a landslide during heavy rains at the height of Typhoon Mangkhut in Itogon town
Ellis Copeland | 19 September, 2018, 23:38

Jeff Bent, managing director of Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which operates the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, told Seatrade Cruise News nothing was amiss at the facility. "We have to try to return these people to their families".

In the Philippines, rescuers for the Itogon landslide were hampered by rain and mud.

Of the hundreds digging through the debris, many were miners themselves who were looking for friends and relatives, determined to make sure they received a proper burial. The area was one of the most affected by floods from Typhoon Hato, which left 10 people dead past year.

Mangkhut, reported to be the biggest storm in the world so far in 2018, hit Hong Kong and southern China on Sunday afternoon, after leaving a trail of destruction in the Philippines.

Business interruption is also likely to be a factor in the eventual market loss, given Hong Kong's productivity was severely dented on Monday and clean-up could take a number of days before everything gets back to normal in the city. Mangkhut struck just before the fall harvest, affecting more than 80 per cent of corn crops and causing damage to agriculture estimated at 51 million Swiss francs (2.86 billion Philippines pesos). A massive evacuation of about 87,000 people from high-risk areas helped lessen potential casualties, officials said. After tearing through Luzon and pummelling Hong Kong and Macau, the storm made landfall in mainland China late Sunday, killing four in Guangdong province, including three hit by falling trees. It forecast the storm to hit the regions of Guizhou, Chongqing and Yunnan on Monday. It threatened to be the strongest typhoon to hit Hong Kong in almost two decades.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday, September 15, urged the 227,000-strong Filipino community in Hong Kong to prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong in the Philippines).

Across Hong Kong, authorities strived to clear roads of debris, including toppled trees and bamboo scaffolding. Bus, rail and ferry services there were cancelled, as were more than 900 flights at its busy airport.

Jonalyn Felipe said she had called her husband, Dennis, a small-scale gold miner in Itogon, and told him to return to their home in northern Quirino province as the powerful typhoon approached Friday.

Casinos were operational again early on Monday though authorities were still struggling to restore power to some of the 20,000 households that suffered power cuts.

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