Philippines typhoon toll climbs as searchers dig for landslide missing

Saul Bowman
September 21, 2018

A YOUNG FAMILY from Kerry have described their experience of being caught up in the "super typhoon" that hit Hong Kong in the previous days.

While the damage was still being assessed on Tuesday, a yacht club manager said "long negotiations on insurance claims" would come next for boat owners.

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.

Mangkhut, the Thai word for mangosteen fruit, is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and is considered one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.

The storm then skirted south of Hong Kong and neighboring gambling hub of Macau before making landfall in China, where four deaths were reported.

The typhoon, the most powerful in 2018, destroyed homes and flooded important agricultural regions in the northern Philippines, before hitting Hong Kong and southern China with strong winds and heavy rains.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Qassemi expressed sorrow over the deaths caused by Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut that battered the United States, the Philippines, and China.

But more than 300 were injured as buildings were rocked, windows smashed, coastal areas pounded by towering waves and more than 1,000 trees were felled.

A mudslide has buried dozens of people on the Philippine island of Luzon, after Typhoon Mangkhut's powerful sweep.

Hong Kong managed to avoid a direct hit from the eye of typhoon Mangkhut, but impacts were still significant and damage was seen to modern and older buildings, along with the storm surge.

Hong Kong residents were told to stay away from the coastline and be on alert for occasional gales.

He said 11 bodies had been recovered so far; searchers had a list of 61 people believed missing, The New York Times reports.

That could add to the Philippines' inflation woes and worsen a spike in rice prices that has hit hard the almost quarter of the nation's population that survives on less than $2 a day.

In Macau, badly hit by a super typhoon past year, authorities were more prepared this time around and ordered casinos to close late on Saturday night as the storm approached.

Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm, it is still expected to batter the southern coast of China today with heavy rain and strong winds.

Farms across northern Luzon, which produces much of the nation's rice and corn, were sitting under muddy floodwater, their crops ruined just a month before harvest. Cathay Pacific said late Sunday that it is "expecting a gradual return to scheduled flight operations" from Monday morning, "still subject to weather conditions".

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