Scores Feared Dead in Philippines After Massive Landslide Triggered by Typhoon Mangkhut

A woman runs in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches in Shenzhen China on Sunday Sept. 16 2018

Jason Lee Reuters A woman runs in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches in Shenzhen China on Sunday Sept. 16 2018

Mangkhut earlier lashed the Philippines, sparking landslides and building collapses that killed at least 65 people, with another 43 missing.

After leaving the Philippines, the fast-moving storm is expected to blow toward Hong Kong and southern China on Sunday if it maintains its course, forecasters said. Bus, ferry and rail services were suspended and nearly 900 flights were cancelled at the city's airport, one of the world's busiest.

The plans of tens of thousands of travellers were disrupted by flight cancellations at Hong Kong's global airport, a major regional hub.

"The landslides happened as some residents returned to their homes after the typhoon", disaster response coordinator Francis Tolentino told DZMM Radio, adding that most of the 5.7 million people affected had made advance preparations.

The typhoon is the 22nd of the year but China's National Meteorological Centre says it could be the strongest one yet to make landfall.

Mangkhut is heading towards Hong Kong, where Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu warned residents it would be bringing "winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity".

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About 87,000 people have been evacuated from high-risk areas of the Philippines, where they were advised not to return home until the danger had passed.

"According to the present forecast track, Mangkhut will be closest to the Pearl River Delta around noontime (0200 GMT)", the Hong Kong Observatory said.

Mangkhut is the sixth storm to threaten Vietnamese waters this year.

The death toll from the Philippines has now risen to at least 59.

Mayor Victorio Palangdan of Itogon town in Benguet province, among the worst-hit by the typhoon that struck Saturday, said at a news conference that of the 40 to 50 people thought buried, there's a "99 percent (chance) that they really are all dead".

The Philippines will deploy soldiers and police to stop illegal mining in six mountainous northern provinces in a drastic decision to prevent tragedies like the landslides set off by a typhoon that have buried dozens of poor people, including small-scale miners.

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"More than two million people have been evacuated in China's Guangdong province, and almost 20,000 emergency shelters have been activated".

House after house had been flattened or badly damaged, with roofs or walls missing.

Philippine officials say that gold mines tunneled by big mining companies and by unauthorized small miners have made the hillsides unstable and more prone to landslides.

Storm warnings have been raised in 25 provinces across the main northern island of Luzon, restricting sea and air travel.

Tropical cyclone Mangkhut advanced west through southern China's Guangdong province after making landfall on Sunday, forcing more than 2.4 million people to evacuate. Luzon farms produce most of the country's rice and corn.

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