- Mangkhut is set to be the strongest typhoon this year, hitting populous areas
- Nearly 43 million people in the south-east Asian region could be affected by it
- With winds up to 172mph, it will hit the Philippines today and China or Vietnam on Saturday
- It’s expected to be the strongest storm ever to strike densely packed Hong Kong
Super typhoon Mangkhut – expected to be the strongest typhoon this year – is rapidly gathering momentum in the Pacific as it heads towards populous Asian coasts. Dailymail reports.
With powerful winds set to reach 278 kilometres per hour (172 miles per hour), Mangkhut is expected to hit the Philippines today before striking financial hub Hong Kong as well as southern China’s Guangdong Province or northern Vietnam by the weekend.
The tropical cyclone – having already hovered through Marshall Islands and Guam earlier this week – could also impact Taiwan.
Nearly 43 million people in the south-east Asian region could be affected, according to United Nations’ Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
Mangkhut is expected to be as strong as Haiyan – a super typhoon that killed more than 6,200 people in the Philippines in 2013.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Philippines has set aside 1.7 billion Philippine Pesos (£24 million) worth of emergency funds and stockpiles in preparation for the possible extreme weather, according to the government-run Philippine Information Agency.
Classes have also been cancelled in some areas of Luzon in the path of the typhoon.
According to a report on VNexpress – a local media of Vietnam, Weather forecasters have predicted that four to six typhoons and tropical depressions could develop off the country’s east coast from now until the end of the year. Around two to three storms will make landfall in Vietnam and batter the central region, they have said.
Last month, typhoon Bebinca turned into a tropical depression after it made landfall in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, bringing heavy downpours and gusty winds lasting many hours, killing 10 people in the north-central and northern highland regions.
Vietnam was struck by a record-breaking number of 16 tropical storms last year that left 389 people dead or missing and injured 668 others, mostly in northern and central regions. Damrey, one of the most destructive storms last year, hit the country in November and killed at least 106 people.