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Bermudians in Philippines brace for typhoon

  • Imposing sight: Nasa’s satellite image of Super Typhoon Mangkhut shows it heading west towards the Philippines. Philippine officials have begun evacuating thousands of people in the path of the most powerful typhoon this year, closing schools and readying bulldozers for landslides (Photograph by Lauren Dauphin/Nasa Earth Observatory/AP)

A Bermudian on vacation in the Philippines said last night the country was braced for the impact of a major typhoon.

Terrilyn Griffiths said she was nervous about Typhoon Mangkhut, a Category 4 storm, but Filipinos in the area she is staying did not appear concerned. Ms Griffiths said: “The structures aren’t like Bermuda’s ... but my friend who is from here says I shouldn’t worry.

“There’s lots of trees which supposedly will protect us way more than if we were in the capital Manila.”

But she added: “There is already some flooding in areas there apparently and they expect more.”

Typhoon Mangkhut was last night on course to hit the northern tip of Luzon, the largest and most populated island in the Pacific chain tomorrow night — Saturday morning in the Philippines.

Ms Griffiths said weather conditions had not yet worsened by yesterday afternoon.

She said she was in Magalang in central Luzon, about 47 miles north of Manila and south of where the storm was expected to strike.

Ms Griffiths said: “The weather seems OK right now but tomorrow and the following day might be rough, although the storm will be north of where I am.”

She added: “We flew in from Bangkok last night and it got extremely stormy along the few- hours ride to her family’s place.

“The lightning show was incredible. It’s not raining or anything right now. It seems clear outside but it’s early.”

The system has weakened since Wednesday, when it packed sustained winds of 160mph, but authorities in the country were concerned the storm could bring landslides and flash floods.

About ten million people in the Philippines are estimated to be in the storm’s path.

Thousands in coastal areas have begun evacuating in advance of the storm, which could bring a 23ft storm surge.

The storm is later expected to hit the heavily populated coast of China.

Josh Ball, a journalist formerly with The Royal Gazette now based in Hong Kong, said hurricane preparation work has already begun on some outlying islands and coastal villages.

He said: “My place is in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island and my building is quite new, so I’m expecting it to be fairly safe.

“At the moment, we still don’t know whether it will be a hit, or just lots of rain. This thing was 900km wide at one point.”