At least 14 confirmed dead as typhoon Mangkhut leaves Philippine territory

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Mangkhut
Satellite image of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) at 9.20pm today. Image from PAGASA

Fourteen people have been confirmed dead as typhoon Mangkhut leaves the Philippines and bears down on China. 

The storm — which was known locally as Ompong — tore a destructive path through the north of Luzon Island and finally left Philippine territory at 9pm yesterday (Saturday, August 15).

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The storm tore off roofs, felled trees, triggered 42 landslides and caused extensive flooding. Several roads around Baguio and elsewhere were closed and communications across the country were affected. 

The typhoon unleashed winds of 115mph as it careered from east to west across the north of the country.

More than five million people were in its path, and thousands were evacuated.

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Francis Tolentino, a political adviser to President Duterte, said today that up to 14 people had been confirmed as dead because of the storm.

As we reported yesterday, two police women died trying to help people trapped in a landslide. A young girl whose body was found in the Marikina river, which flows through Manila, was another of the early casualties.

The mayor of Baguio has confirmed that five people were killed in the city. Mauricio Domogan told CNN Philippines that a similar number were still missing.

The typhoon — the strongest tropical cyclone the world has faced this year — recalls memories of the deadliest storm on record in the Philippines — super typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, in 2013 — which killed more than 7,000. 

The typhoon made landfall at Baggao, in the north-east of the Philippines, at about 01.40am yesterday. The town was severely damaged, but no casualties have been reported.

After losing some of its power as it headed west, the storm was downgraded from a super typhoon and is now travelling with wind speeds equivalent to a category four hurricane.

The storm has a cloud diameter of about 560 miles and is heading west at just under 20 miles an hour. It is forecast to pass close to Hong Kong and hit China late this evening or early on Monday.

It is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by Tuesday.

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