Super Typhoon Mangkhut is the most powerful tropical cyclone in the world, with 170 mph winds, and is set to cross over the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Macau over the next few days.
The Global Disaster and Alert Coordination System said that as many as 43.3 million people could be affected by the storm, which is now causing power outages and flooding in Guam. Mangkhut is expected to sweep across the northern Philippines on Friday as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, but will likely weaken before reaching Hong Kong and Macau. The agriculture secretary of the Philippines warned that with the harvest season nearing, Mangkhut could cause up to $25 million in damage to crops on the island of Luzon.
It’s a busy storm season in the Atlantic and Pacific. Hurricane Florence, headed for the Carolinas, is a Category 3, while Tropical Storm Barijat is now passing Hong Kong to the south. Tropical Storm Olivia is bringing at least 15 inches of rain to some parts of Hawaii, and Hurricane Helene, a Category 1, is west of Cabo Verde and expected to stay over the open ocean, The Washington Post reports.