Typhoon Mangkhut (locally known as Ompong), the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, continues to intensify. The Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has classified “Mangkhut” into a super typhoon. It is currently equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane, with winds of at least 252 kilometers per hour (157 mph).
As of 11am (Philippine time), Mangkhut is already 1,190 kilometers east northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, still moving west at 20 km/h. The typhoon is expected to hit Northern Luzon and may cross the island province of Batanes and Cagayan areas towards the end of the week.
Local authorities warn people to prepare for storm surges in coastal communities, and landslides and flashfloods in upland and low-lying areas. Its powerful winds can uproot trees and topple electric posts.
“This is very unfortunate for the people of Northern Luzon who experienced the wrath of relatively strong typhoons since 2016. Our teams would be ready to make rapid assessments. We are ready to respond if needed,” said David Gazashvili, CARE Philippines Country Director.
CARE is closely monitoring the track of Mangkhut, and coordinating with its partner Cagayan Valley Disaster Response Center & Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services. CARE previously responded to Typhoon Haima (Lawin) that devastated Cagayan and Kalinga provinces in October 2016.
CARE has worked in the Philippines since 1949, providing emergency relief when disaster strikes and helping communities prepare for disasters. CARE's past responses in the Philippines have included typhoon Haiyan in 2013, Hagupit in 2014, Koppu and Melor in 2015, and Haima in 2016.
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