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More than 60 dead as Mangkhut continues into southern China

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More than 60 dead as Mangkhut continues into southern China | The Thaiger

The world’s strongest tropical storm this year, Typhoon Mangkhut, continues its path of destruction across Southeast Asia, reaching mainland China yesterday (Sunday) after pummeling Hong Kong and killing dozens in the Philippines.

The storm, originating in the Pacific Ocean and first hitting Guam and the Marshall Islands, has been deadly with its high power winds hitting rural communities in The Philippines and then into Chinese business hub, Hong Kong yesterday.

So far, 2 people in southern China and over 60 people in the Philippines have been killed by the record storm. Many of the Philippines’ deaths were caused by landslides. Many more remain unaccounted for ,still believed to be buried beneath the deluge, according to officials.

More than 2.45 million people were evacuated in China’s Guangdong province as Mangkhut made landfall at 5pm local time.

Xinhua reported that 18,327 emergency shelters had been activated, and that 632 tourism and 29,611 construction sites had been shut down.

As Mangkhut marched toward the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong was also buffeted by fierce winds that tore off roofs, downed trees and caused cranes perched atop half-built skyscrapers to swing ominously.

Hong Kong’s weather observatory issued its highest storm warning alert – a T10 – and the normally bustling city was all but shut down as torrential rain flooded roads and buildings.

Winds of 175 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 225 kph were reported, much stronger than the Hurricane Florence that hit North Carolina on Friday and over the weekend. There were no reported deaths in Hong Kong, a city well prepared for tropical cyclones.

Airports in Shenzhen, a technology hub across the border from Hong Kong, and on the resort island of Hainan also canceled all flights, according to Chinese state media.

Mangkhut is now expected to move inland of western Guangdong. While the storm has weakened, a T8 warning was still in place last night.

The Thai Meteorological Department says that Mangkhut will weaken into a tropical storm as it moves into north Vietnam and will cause heavy rains and potentially high winds in northern and northern-eastern Thai provinces.



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Southeast Asia

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet

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Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ new 88-passenger Mitsubishi Regional Jet is testing the skies just as rivals Embraer and Bombardier are moving to sell off their manufacturing operations for jets with up to 160 seats to Boeing and Airbus.

At stake, particularly in the market for jets with fewer seats, is US$135 billion in sales in the two decades through 2037, according to industry group Japan Aircraft Development.

More cities in Asia and Europe are seeking to link up with each other and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first airliner built in Japan since the 1960s, began certification flights last month in Moses Lake, Washington.

With fewer seats and smaller fuselages, regional jets are a different class of aircraft from larger narrow-body planes such as Boeing’s 737 or Airbus’s A320. The MRJ has a range of about 3,220 kilometres. The seating is 2+2 instead of 3+3 in a small Airbus or Boeing single-aisle jet.

After spending at least US$2 billion over more than a decade, the manufacturer is looking to get its jet certified and start deliveries to launch partner ANA Holdings.

Mitsubishi initially planned test flights in 2012 but blew past that deadline because of production difficulties. Now, the company, which makes ships, nuclear power plants and aerospace components, expects to have the plane ready for customers next year, a timetable that will test the company, said Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani.

Mitsubishi Heavy is not the only Asian manufacturer betting that it can build aircraft cheaper and more efficiently. Commercial Aircraft of China (Comac) has a new regional jet in service, while Korea Aerospace Industries is studying whether to develop a 100-passenger aircraft.

“The aviation market in Asia is expected to grow further in the coming years and there will be demand for these aircraft,” said analyst Lee Dong-heon at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

“The shift in the regional aviation segment we have seen over the last year or so has opened opportunities.”

“The MRJ is fully capable of competing in the market.”

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | News by The Thaiger

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North East

Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew

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Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew | The Thaiger

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.

Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.

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Southeast Asia

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport!

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Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport! | The Thaiger

by Philippine Daily Inquirer – Asia News Network

Without a choice, with nature instructing her to lay the eggs on the same spot she’d emerged as a baby turtle, the poor reptile made the runway its nest on Maafaru island.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals,” wrote local news website The Edition.

The incident has sparked fresh debates on the environmental and social costs of the Maldive’s tourism-propelled growth (sounds familiar?).

“The question remains on how much of Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically,” the website said.

The airport,  which has a 2.2 kilometre, 40 metre-wide runway, was inaugurated in August last year. The UAE-funded project was built on Maafaru, one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll, which is a traditional nesting place of the marine turtles.

Once a green turtle hatches and heads into the ocean, it rarely returns to land. When they reach sexual maturity, they travel long distances to go back to their natal place to mate and lay eggs.

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is on the list of endangered species of animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place - it's now an airport! | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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