At least 12 people have been killed as Typhoon Mangkhut tore across northern Philippines with destructive winds and heavy rain, before heading towards Hong Kong and southern China.
The victims died mostly in landslides and houses that got pummeled by the storm’s fierce winds and rain on Saturday, according to presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, who is the government’s main coordinator for disaster response.
Among the dead were an infant and a two-year-old child who died with their parents after the couple refused to immediately evacuate from their high-risk community in Nueva Vizcaya province, Tolentino said.
At least two other people were missing, he said, adding that the death toll could climb to at least 16 once other casualty reports were verified.
“My appeal is that we need to heed the advice of the authorities. Stay indoors,” said Tolentino.
Known locally as Ompong, Mangkhut is the most ferocious storm to hit the Philippines this year.
It slammed ashore before dawn on Saturday in Cagayan province on the northeastern tip of Luzon island.
At one point, it hit gusts of 305km/h before it left the Philippines and moved across South China Sea with reduced winds.