More than five million people were at risk. The victims died mostly in landslides and houses that got pummelled by the storm’s fierce winds and rain. The airport terminal was badly damaged, its roof and glass windows shattered by strong winds that also sent chairs, tables and papers flipping about inside. Nearly 150 flights, a third of them international, were cancelled. The saea travel halted. Philippines officials have ordered evacuations and closed schools on Thursday. “We are still evaluating the damage and trying to reach the victims,” said Ricardo Jalad from the Civil Protection Service.
“It’s still a life and death situation,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, citing past drownings in swollen rivers in mountain provinces after storms had passed. Storm warnings remained in effect in 10 northern provinces, including Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, which could still be lashed by devastating winds. Mangkhut is the 15th storm this year to batter the Philippines. Its sustained winds weakened to 105 miles per hour with gusts of up to 161 mph after it blew out to the South China Sea, aiming at Hong Kong and elsewhere in southern China. In nearby Fujian province in China, many thousands people were evacuated.