A tale of two storms: Mangkhut and Florence wreak havoc half a world apart

Byby Amanda del Castillo via KGO logo
Sunday, September 16, 2018
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At SFO, travelers arriving from Hong Kong talked about Tyhpoon Mangkhut, which will make landfall Sunday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and South Carolina with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

Half a world away, Super Typhoon Mangkhut is taking the title of the world's strongest storm of the year.

RELATED: Continuing coverage tracking Florence, flooding across Carolinas

Mangkhut roared ashore Friday, just as Florence hit the East Coast.

It's already killed at least a dozen people in the Philippines.

The cyclone is forecast to make another landfall, just west of Hong Kong, on Sunday.

RELATED: 2018 world's strongest storm: Mangkhut barrels through Philippines toward China

On Saturday afternoon, travelers from Hong Kong landed at San Francisco International Airport.

Hong Kong resident Chauyee He told ABC7 News she changed her flight to arrive a day earlier in San Francisco so that she'd miss the storm's landfall in Hong Kong.

She and other travelers with family in Hong Kong said they were only slightly concerned about relatives back home.

"We experience 6 to 12 typhoons a year in Hong Kong," Shane Kam said. "So, we're quite used to it and thankfully we have really good infrastructures and sewer systems."

However, experts estimate the super typhoon will put at least five million people at risk, and cause more casualties than Florence.

Many Saturday said they're hopeful precautions taken after last year's deadly Typhoon Hato have helped.

ABC News reports current projections show Mangkhut could be one of the strongest storms to hit Hong Kong in more than six decades.