The winds of the collossal Pacific typhoon alone pack the pack destructive force of 500,000 Hiroshima bombs.
But Mangkhut’s terrible power is multiplied by the threat of storm-surges the height of two double decker buses sweeping inland like a tsunami.
A comparable storm called Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) struck in 2013
triggering storm-surges which cost an estimated 22,000 lives. Tens of thousands of homes were also destroyed.
In Tacloban City, in Leyte the surge extended almost a mile inland amid scenes described by jouralists as “apocalyptic”. Whole families were wiped out and most families lost at least one member.
Horifically residents seeking refuge in the first floor of the Tacloban City Convention Center, which was serving as an evacuation shelter, drowned as the storm-surge hit so fast that no-one could be evacuated.
Today’s Typhoon Mangkhut, which is due to make landfall in the Phillipines on Saturday.
The area is already being battered by the smaller Typhoon Barijat and 12,000 people have already been evacuated. But Mangkhut is a great deal more powerful – at least 50 percent more powerful than Hurricane Florence currently threatening the eastern seaboard of the USA.
The Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which is still gathering strength as it nears the northern Philippines, will make landfall on Luzon island Saturday.
Wind speeds are up to 285kph (180 mph), equivalent to a Category 5 Hurricane.
The Philippine Red Cross ison 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.
In 2016, a super typhoon lashed southern parts of Cagayan, destroying tens of thousands of houses. But Mr Mamba said: “I’m stressing that this one is very different, this is more complicated because of possible storm surges.”
Office of Civil Defense chief Ricardo Jalad added: “The worst case are those areas which will be directly hit by strong winds that can topple houses, storm surges and heavy rains that can cause flooding, and there may be landslides in higher areas.”
Rich Sones PhD said hurricanes like Mangkhut carry the power of half a million nuclear bombs.
He added: “Hurricanes are among the most powerful of Earthly phenomena, unloosing some 1,000,000,000,000,000 watts, 3,000 times the total electrical power generated in the world.
“This is equivalent to exploding 500,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs per day.”