Philippines raises alert as super typhoon Mangkhut approaches

Philippine authorities on September 14 raised its storm warning and warned of major destruction, hours before super typhoon Mangkhut was due to make landfall with fierce winds and drenching rains.

The country’s state weather service raised a "signal four" alert, the second-highest storm warning for winds of up to 220 kilometres per hour, for Cagayan and northern Isabela coastal provinces.

A signal four alert was issued for super typhoon Haiyan, which was the country's deadliest on record. It left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in November 2013.

More than 9,000 people have been moved to temporary shelters. Local authorities also warned that tens of thousands of other people will be evacuated to safe places. 

Meanwhile, 5.2 million people in the path of a "very destructive" typhoon were advised to stay indoors, as the country braced for heavy rain and damage to infrastructure and crops.

The storm further picked up speed and was about 340 km east of the Philippines late afternoon on September 14. It is expected to barrel through the northernmost tip of the Philippines on September 15 morning, carrying 205 kph wind speeds, and gusts of up to 255 kph, that it has maintained since it struck Micronesia earlier in the week.-VNA