Monster typhoon threatens the Philippines

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September 14, 2018
Typhoon philippines flights canceled
Typhoon Mangkhut as it approaches the Philippines. Photo: NASA.

Hurricane Florence may have been downgraded to category 1 but a monster storm still stalks the planet.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut remains a category 5 storm and is even bigger than the hurricane now battering the US was at its peak.

Wind speed at the center of the typhoon is hitting 180 mph (285kms) as it heads towards the Philippines island of Luzon.

Thousands of people have been evacuated and there are fears Mangkhut could cause as much damage as Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,000 people in 2013.

READ: Hundreds of flights canceled as Hurricane Florence arrives.

Another typhoon, Haima, destroyed 14.000 houses  and damaged 50,000 in 2016.

Mangkhut has already torn through Guam and the Marshall Islands and is expected to make landfall early Saturday.

It is expected to remain in the super typhoon category as it heads into the South China Sea.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have both canceled flights and are offering passengers the ability to rebook.

PAL said it had canceled flights to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul Friday as well as a slew of domestic flights.

Two international flights and 11 domestic flights were canceled Saturday and four flights from the Middle East delayed.

“We ask our passengers to reconsider their travel plans for the coming two days, as we expect there to be more cancellations or delays,’’ PAL said.

“ PAL will closely monitor the typhoon situation and will provide updates on any further changes in schedules or cancellations.

Please continue to monitor the status of your flights by logging on to www.philippineairlines.com and check the flight status page within 48 hours before your scheduled trip, or you may download the PAL Mobile App for easier monitoring.

“ We will also post advisories on our Official PAL Facebook page.”

READ PAL’s travel alert.

Cebu Pacific also a host of cancellation through to Monday.

It “strongly advised” affected passengers not to go to the airport, saying they could rebook their flights for travel within 30 days of their original departure date, place the cost of the ticket in travel fund for future use or get a full refund.

“Other passengers flying in and out of Manila and Clark from September 13, 2018, until Saturday (September 15, 2018), as well as those flying to and from Hong Kong and Macau on Monday (September 17, 2018), may also avail of the above options,’’ it said

“Passengers are encouraged to rebook or refund before their flights through the “Manage Booking” section of the Cebu Pacific website (www.cebupacificair.com).

“We expect to receive a high volume of requests. To ease the process, affected passengers may send us a message on our official Facebook (facebook.com/cebupacificair) and Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) accounts.”

READ Cebu Pacific’s travel alert.