A SUPER typhoon that has already dwarfed Hurricane Florence is set to break records as it tears towards its target with up to 43 million people in the firing line.
AN “extremely dangerous” super typhoon predicted to be the one of the strongest systems on record is tearing towards Hong Kong and the Philippines with up to 43 million people in the firing line.
Bureau of Meteorology Australia tropical climatologist Greg Browning told news.com.au Typhoon Mangkhut was equivalent to a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone and boasted maximum sustained winds of 205kph and gusts up to 285kph. It’s “significantly stronger” than Hurricane Florence which is simultaneously hurtling towards the US as North Carolina locals evacuate the region in preparation for the onslaught.
“(Mangkhut is) relatively rare at the top of the severe scale,” Mr Browning said.
“It’s extremely dangerous as it’s a very large system with very strong winds and a potential storm surge over a large distance.
“There will be very heavy rainfall associated with it which has potential to cause widespread damage.”
Mr Browning said Typhoon Mangkhut was the most powerful storm system to have developed on Earth this year but that it wasn’t the strongest since records began in 1946, as has been reported internationally. Typhoon Haiyan – which killed more than 6,000 people when it lashed the Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 230kph and gusts of 325kp in 2013 – holds that record.
On Friday, Typhoon Mangkhut was in the Pacific, about 450km from the Philippines with the 125km-wide eye expected to make landfall on the country’s largest island, Luzon, on Saturday.
the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii categorised the syste, as a “super typhoon“.
The Global Disaster Alert and co-ordination System (GDACS) said it expected a “high humanitarian impact based on the storm strength and the affected population in the past and forecasted path” of destruction. As many as 43 million people could be exposed to the Mangkhut’s cyclone-strength winds, according to the GDACS. More than four million Filippinos are reportedly at risk being affected by the storm which could drench areas as far south as the country’s island capital, Manila. Mr Browning said the super typhoon was then likely to continue tracking west to Hong Kong and southern China, jeopardising millions more lives, on Sunday.