At least 25 die in Philippine typhoon havoc, rescue official says

Hong Kong/MANILA (Reuters) – Tropical cyclone Mangkhut swirled towards Hong Kong and the Chinese coast today, gaining in strength over the South China Sea after hurtling through the Philippines, where it wreaked havoc that killed at least 25.

Twenty deaths in the Cordillera region on the main island of Luzon and four in nearby Nueva Vizcaya province were caused by landslides. Another death resulted from a treefall in the province of Ilocos Sur, Francis Tolentino said by telephone.

The tally reflected the situation at 9 a.m., said Tolentino, the main disaster response coordinator and an adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, adding that reports from other areas of northern Luzon, hit by the typhoon on Saturday, were still flowing in.  The Cordillera deaths were confirmed by Emmanuel Salamat, of the office of civil defence, who said police had reported at least 20 dead there.

Mangkhut, the Thai name for Southeast Asia’s mangosteen fruit, was expected to skirt 100 km (62 miles) south of Hong Kong and veer west towards the coast of China’s southern Guangdong province, and the gaming center of Macau.

Hong Kong raised its highest No. 10 typhoon signal at mid-morning, as fierce waves pounded low-lying areas and strong winds rattled windows in many towering skyscrapers.