The authorities in Hong Kong and mainland China warned residents to "prepare for the worst" as the impact of the Super Typhoon Mangkhut resonates, after making landfall in the northern Philippines.
The Hong Kong Observatory issued a warning for hurricane winds above 118 km / h, as forecasters predicted that Mangkhut would rebuild in intensity over the South China Sea.
"As the wind and rain brought by Mangkhut are expected to reach extraordinary speed, range and gravity, I have ordered all parties to prepare for the worst," said Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka. chiu
It is predicted that Mangkhut will bring damaging winds and rain to the city on Sunday.
The provinces along China's southern border, including Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan, have also been alerted about the risk of torrential rains, floods and landslides.
In Guangdong, 100,000 residents and tourists have relocated, and 3,777 shelters have been established. The AP news agency reports that more than 36,000 fishing boats were removed from the port.
Situation & # 39; very bad & # 39; In Philippines
At least 5.2 million were within the projected path of the storm, which the locals called Ompong.
The system made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan at 1.40 am.
The meteorological system is the most powerful typhoon that has hit the Philippines in the last five years, and authorities fear the impacts on the Haiyan scale in 2013.
The super typhoon resulted in more than 7,000 deaths and disappearances and affected 16 million in November 2013.
Strong gusts of wind of up to 255 km / h and torrential rain lashed the north of the country.
Responsible for Oxfam's response, April Abello-Bulanadi, who is in the city of Tuguegerao, Cagayan, said there has been substantial damage to infrastructure and agricultural crops.
"The situation is very bad," he said.
"The winds howl and we can feel the destructive force of Ompong." The roof of the hotel where the response team met has flown in. We are on the third floor, the walls and ceiling are shaking, it has been raining non-stop. preparing to evaluate the areas near the Cagayan River, the northern coasts of Cagayan and the north of Isabela. "
Increased risk of landslide in the Philippines
The teams have conducted evaluations since Wednesday to accelerate the provision of aid to the most affected areas.
Oxfam's director in the Philippines, María Rosario Felizco, said that people who have been displaced will need urgent access to food, clean water and shelter.
"We are concerned about the impact of Ompong on lives and livelihoods, especially those within the eye of the storm," he said.
"Communities will need support during this time of great need, Oxfam and our partners are ready to support the government.
"We will prioritize addressing the needs of women and girls throughout the entire
emergency response. "
Alert level 4 has been declared in four provinces of the northern half of the island of Luzon, where winds between 171-220 km / h have been recorded.
In Cagayan and Isabela, located on the northeast coast of Luzon, where the storm entered, the alert level has already decreased from 4 to 3 after the passage of Mangkhut, which left strong winds, torrential rains, floods and waves of up to six meters .
The eye of the hurricane passed through these regions, two of the main producers of rice and corn, with gusts of wind of 330 km / h.
Super typhoon Mangkhut is the 15th storm to hit the Philippines this year and, so far, the strongest for 2018. An average of 20 typhoons hit the country every year.
Ms. Felizco said she is concerned about the great potential for landslides during the monsoon season, with the additional impact of extreme weather events.
"What we are also seeing now with extreme climate events like Mangkhut is that we have to take urgent measures to ensure that the communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change can adapt," he said.
– with agencies.