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Philippines, Hong Kong Brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Forecaster Meno Mendoza shows the path of Super Typhoon Mangkhut, locally named "Typhoon Ompong," as it approaches the Philippines at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in Manila, Sept. 12, 2018.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, an even more powerful storm than U.S.-bound Hurricane Florence, was heading Wednesday for the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Mangkhut was barreling across the Pacific Ocean with wind gusts of more than 265 kilometers an hour (165 mph). It has already passed the U.S. territory of Guam, where it caused widespread flooding and power outages.

The Pacific Daily News reported government agencies were conducting damage assessments and beginning to clear roads. About 80 percent of the U.S. territory was without power but it was restored by Thursday morning.

Mangkhut was forecast to hit the northern Philippines on Friday and then move on to Taiwan before heading to Hong Kong and southern China by Sunday.

According to the U.N. Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, the super typhoon could affect as many as 43.4 million people before it fades away.

Governor Manuel Mamba of the Philippines island of Cagayan said officials would start evacuating islanders on Thursday. He has already ordered schools and government offices to close.

"I'm stressing that this one is very different. This is more complicated because of possible storm surges,'' Mamba said.

Mangkhut would be the 15th storm to batter the Philippines this year.