Super typhoon Mangkhut heads towards the Philippines and China

Manilla residents prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut

Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said: "We're anxious for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm".

MANILA, Philippines The most powerful typhoon of the season is closing in on the northern Philippines, where officials ordered precautionary evacuations and closures of schools and offices and urged farmers to quickly harvest their crops to reduce damage.

Typhoon Mangkhut's ferocity is being compared to that a Category 5 Atlantic Hurricane.

Even so, Guy said will come "dangerously close to clipping the country", causing heavy rain and flooding in the island's north, where local authorities are preparing relief goods and security forces have been put on alert.

Mangkhut has already swept past the U.S. territory of Guam, in the western Pacific, where it caused flooding and power outages. At this stage 10 million people lie in the path of the major storm. The Pearl River Delta region, which includes Hong Kong and Macau, is among the most densely populated in the world.

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It's forecast to make landfall in Cagayan province on Saturday and lose some more power before heading to Hong Kong and South China. With more than 111 million residents, the most populous province of China will embrace the super typhoon on Sunday before it is expected to downgrade to a severe tropical storm next Monday.

In disaster-prone Philippines where about 20 cyclones pass each year, Mangkhut, which is named after a fruit in Thailand, is forecast to enter on Wednesday just as another storm left. Hong Kong had been bracing for a direct hit on September 12, but the typhoon warning was cancelled the morning of September 13, the Hong Kong Observatory announced, as forecasts tracked Mangkhut's path further south. According to HKO, the storm is expected to skirt around 100 to 200 kilometers (62 to 124 miles) south of Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon, bringing strong winds and rain.

It said there could be storm surges of up to seven metres (23ft) in coastal areas and that heavy rains could spark landslides and flash floods.

It could be felt strongest in the provinces of Cagayan and Batanes with an intensity of 205 to 255 kph.

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