Super Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to take a direct hit to the north of the Philippines on Friday before readjusting its course toward Hong Kong and southwest China.
A terrifying Mangkhut path track graph shared by Hong Kong Free Press shows the super typhoon will start making its presence known in the Philippines on Friday, crossing the northern tip of the country throughout Saturday.
Mangkhut will then move northwards towards Hainan Island and the Guangxi region of China, with the graph showing winds and heavy rain will spread all the way to Hong Kong.
The Category 5 super typhoon is packing 173 mph winds and 207 mph gusts as it hovers 934 miles off Hong Kong.
The Philippine Red Cross is on full alert. Chairman Richard Gordon said: “We’re worried for the 10 million people in the Philippines living in the path of this destructive storm, including those who have been displaced several times due to the monsoon rains last July and August.”
And Manuel Mamba, the governor of Cagayan, said northern coastal and island villages were being evacuated on Thursday ahead of the expected onslaught.
Experts at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) said Mangkhut is maintaining its strength, which is the same as a category five hurricane.
A category five hurricane is the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale and is described as a storm which causes complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings.
Engineers have warned Mangkhut could threaten the stability of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, a bridge-tunnel system connecting the three major cities in the Pearl River delta.
Geotechnical engineer Ngai Hok-yan said: “Whether the bridge can withstand the destructive force of Super Typhoon Mangkhut depends on the height of the waves at the artificial island.
“If the waves are higher than four metres, then there is a chance these protective blocks will be washed away, and very quickly. Depending on the wind direction, the waves could be as high as six metres according to American forecasts.”
Mr Ngai added: “Without the protection of the dolosse, the worst case scenario would see the undersea tunnel detach from the artificial island and float above the sea, and also the collapse of the island.”
The winds of the colossal Pacific typhoon alone pack the pack destructive force of 500,000 Hiroshima bombs. Mangkhut’s terrible power is multiplied by the threat of storm-surges the height of two double-decker buses sweeping inland like a tsunami.