Typhoon Mangkhut lashed the northern Philippines with destructive winds and heavy rain that set off landslides and destroyed homes on Saturday, leaving at least 12 people dead, as Hong Kong and other parts of southern China braced for the powerful storm, per the AP. The most ferocious typhoon to hit the disaster-prone Philippines this year slammed ashore before dawn in Cagayan province on the northeastern tip of Luzon. Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino said the 12 died mostly in landslides and houses that got pummeled by the storm's fierce winds and rain. Among the dead were an infant and a 2-year-old child who died with their parents after the couple refused to immediately evacuate from their high-risk community in a mountain town in Nueva Vizcaya province, Tolentino said. "They can't decide for themselves where to go," he said of the children, expressing frustration. About 87,000 people evacuated from high-risk areas of the Philippines.
Tolentino noted the death toll could still climb. Mangkhut's sustained winds weakened to 105mph per hour, with gusts of up to 161mph, after it sliced northwestward across Luzon before blowing out to the South China Sea, aiming at Hong Kong and elsewhere in southern China. More than 5 million people were at risk from the storm, which the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded from a super typhoon. Storm warnings remained in effect in 10 northern provinces, including Cagayan, which could still be lashed by devastating winds, forecasters said. Mangkhut is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 a year and considered one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.
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