Victorio Palangdan, the mayor of the town of Itogon located in the northern Philippines’ Benguet province, reported that typhoon Mangkhut caused a landfall on Saturday and that dozens of people, mostly small-scale miners and their families, were feared to have been trapped underneath the huge pile of mud and rocks.
Palangdan told the Associated Press that three villagers who nearly got buried told authorities they saw residents rush into an old three-story building, a former mining bunkhouse that was turned into a chapel when the typhoon was at its strongest, Saturday afternoon.
Mangkhut lashed the northern Philippines with winds of 205 kilometres per hour, gusts of 255 kilometers per hour and heavy rain.
Overall, AP reports that at least 64 people have died in this gold-mining region, mostly from landslides and collapsed houses. The national police also said that 45 other people were missing and 33 were injured in the storm.
Meanwhile, in China, more than 2.4 million people had been evacuated in the southern Guangdong province to flee the massive typhoon and nearly 50,000 fishing boats were called back to port, state media reported. After packing wind speeds of 162 kilometres per hour, the storm also caused a landfall in the city of Taishan.
The Hong Kong Observatory, on the other hand, issued its strongest storm warning for 10 hours on Sunday. Hong Kong’s RTHK broadcaster cited experts saying Mangkhut was expected to be the strongest typhoon to hit the city in decades.
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