10,000 people evacuated as Typhoon Mangkhut nears Philippines

typhoon-mangkhut-philippines-afp Residents secure the roof of their house as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches the city of Tuguegarao, Cagayan province, north of Manila | AFP

Typhoon Mangkhut has triggered mass evacuation in Philippines were it is expected to hit on Saturday. Thousands of people have been evacuated from what authorities expect will be the typhoon's path. Bulldozers are ready to face landslides and troops and rescuers are on full alert to face the most powerful typhoon this year.

Domestic flights were cancelled and schools have been closed. Around five million people are expected to be affected by typhoon Mangkhut and till now 10,000 people have been evacuated. Experts categorised Mangkhut as super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts equivalent to a category five Atlantic hurricane.

Mangkhut was on course to hit north-eastern Cagayan province early on Saturday local time. It was tracked on Friday about 400km (250 miles) away in the Pacific with sustained winds of 205km/h and gusts of up to 255km/h, Philippine forecasters said.

With a massive raincloud band 900km wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the typhoon could bring intense rains that could set off landslides and flash floods, the forecasters said. Storm warnings were raised in 25 provinces across the main northern island of Luzon, restricting sea and air travel.

Ricardo Jalad, the country’s civil defence chief, told an emergency meeting led by 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 winds.