Return to Transcripts main page


At Least Five Deaths from Hurricane Florence; Typhoon Mangkhut Slams into Philippines. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 15, 2018 - 02:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Covering two major storm systems on opposite sides of the globe. Welcome back to viewers here in the United States and around the world with our breaking news coverage. I'm George Howell, live in Wilmington, North Carolina, where tropical storm Florence has proven deadly.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong and we're also tracking Typhoon Mangkhut which is bringing misery to the Philippines and it's not done yet.

HOWELL: Following the storm here, we're feeling the effects right now in Wilmington, North Carolina. The winds, the rains, they pick up. We're certainly in the middle of it. We know at least five people have died from tropical storm Florence.

This slow moving system has been hitting the Carolina coast very hard with heavy rain over the past 24 hours and there is much more rain, much more wind to come. Again, this is a deadly storm, a mother and an infant killed when a large tree fell on their home. Firefighters paused to pray for the victims.

We also know that a man died, a victim died when connecting a power cord. Deadly storm and it is continuing to push forward. There's also a problem with downed power lines across the region. Millions of customers without electricity.

A gas station canopy was knocked over by high winds. First responders have identified hundreds of people who need rescues from these rising flood waters.



HOWELL: Certainly North Myrtle Beach, that is a tourist area, a very important tourist area where people are feeling the effects of this storm. Our Nick Watt was there and filed this report for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We are on what is known as the Grand Strand, a 60 mile stretch of beach in the Carolinas that is normally sun kissed and welcomes 14 million visitors a year. Hurricane Florence has changed all that now.

We are still a little ways away from high tide here and the water is already coming up and up this beach. The fear here is that onshore winds, this could be a deadly combination of onshore wind, high tide in the middle of the night and a storm surge.

This town has flooded before. Hurricane Hugo back in '89 destroyed all of the homes along the beachfront here, that is a fear. Listen, this house has been rebuilt, up on stilts but there are houses behind not on stilts.

And since 1989 a lot more people have moved to this area. There are a lot more people that could be impacted now. Over 400,000 people have been evacuated from the coast of South Carolina, expecting Florence to come.

Here in North Myrtle Beach, 85 percent of people left. Maybe 2,000 or so hunkered down, hoping for the best. They told us that -- one guy told me, when it was downgraded from a 3 to a 2, I decided to stay.

But listen, the winds may be not as strong as feared. But this storm is still carrying so much water and moving so slowly and dumping all that fresh water inland. And then as I mentioned we have the threat of the ocean -- Nick Watt, CNN, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


HOWELL: Nick Watt, thank you for that report.

Again, Florence is making its way through the state of South Carolina this hour. And now on the line with me to talk more about that, Tim Harper, Tim, the county administrator for Marion County, South Carolina.

Tim, thank you for being with us. Your state certainly in the middle of this thing right now.

What are you seeing, what are you experiencing?

TIM HARPER, MARION COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR, S.C.: We're experiencing some of the rain right now and a lot of wind. We still got a little bit of wind to go but we're expecting probably another 10 to 20 inches of additional rain on us in the coming days.

HOWELL: Tim, are you concerned about the need for the work of these rescue crews that are in position?

Are you concerned that there are people who will certainly need that help and assistance?

HARPER: We are concerned. We experienced a lot of flooding in 2016 with Hurricane Matthew. But we're seeing more people are taking heed and are responding to the emergency notifications that we're putting out, to seek higher ground and to find shelter.

So we have three shelters open now. We have over 350 people in our shelters right now.

HOWELL: Tim, I want to ask you -- we're hearing right now that there is a tornado watch where we are right now.

Is there a concern that the weather we're hearing, that we're seeing is going to get worse for you in the coming hours?

HARPER: We expect it probably will in the coming hours. We expect to have more wind coming in on us as the storm passes through our county and then especially the flooding that's going to come afterwards.

And so we're expecting to have some more serious problems coming up soon.

HOWELL: Tim, you know, over the next several hours, what would you tell people?

There are going to be people who are certainly going to be affected by this as the week progresses. People will, you know, obviously have to delay some plans.

How important is it just to wait, to give it a beat for this storm to pass through and give your crews time to be prepared?

HARPER: We hope that people will take notice that, if they live in a flood prone area and there's any possibility that there are floods, especially after the flooding of Hurricane Matthew, they need to seek shelter or get inland or, you know, get to higher ground because this storm is a dangerous storm.

They need to take -- be aware of that and to make what changes they need to be prepared.

HOWELL: Tim Harper on the phone with us, the administrator for Marion County, South Carolina. Thank you again, Tim, for your time.

Our Derek Van Dam is also live following this story with us this hour. Derek in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

And, Derek, I understand one resident telling CNN that this day was worse for him than the other day.


HOWELL: Talk to us about what you're seeing and experiencing there.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, 36 hours of hell basically, George. We've got brutal conditions at the moment. I'm protected by a reinforced concrete wall just to my right.

But if I step back 10 feet we would be in the thick of very strong tropical storm force winds. Every little while we'll get a little spin up in the winds and it'll knock me off my feet. We continue to brace ourselves.

We know this is long duration event. We've been talking about that so, so long and how this is moving at a snail's pace. And Carolina Beach and the coastal areas, North Carolina to South Carolina, are really going to be in the thick of it at least another day to a day and a half. And we don't expect tropical storm force winds to drop off until Saturday evening for this particular location.

In terms of the damage that has happened here, we've had roofs that have blown off buildings, fences that have collapsed. Some fallen trees that have fallen down but minimal damage so far.

But you've got to remember that because this is a long duration event the ground is becoming very, very saturated with the extremely heavy rain that is pounding the region. So it won't take long to topple more trees, especially when we have wind gusts in excess of 100 kilometers per hour still continuing right into the early morning of Saturday.

Emergency personnel are telling people to only reach out to them here in the Carolina Beach area, the region I'm located, only if they have an extreme emergency. All communication has been lost here. We're working off satellite phones at the moment. No electricity, similar to what George is dealing with in Wilmington.

And, of course, that causes all kinds of problems for people because they're riding this storm out, the people that decided not to leave, in the pitch black. There is no option for light here with the exceptions of the few generators that happen to be on the island.

Remember we're cut off from the mainland via a bridge that has now been closed until further notice. There's flooding on either side of the bridge and there is also strong winds across it.

So we are stuck here for the foreseeable future until the weather conditions improve. George, you went through the eyewall earlier yesterday about at the same time we did and it was incredible to see the calmness in the atmosphere.

But it almost gave a false sense of security, a false sense of calm to the people as they stepped outside, into the eye of Hurricane Florence, because the winds picked up and now we're getting battered from the other direction.

HOWELL: You know, Derek, that was really interesting to step outside and see it was so calm and seemingly peaceful but to know and to look at the radar to know we're only halfway through this thing, if even that.

And I want to ask you about that. You put on your reporter hat and now your meteorologist hat. I want to ask about you that northeastern quadrant of the storm. Look at that. We're in the middle right now of this tornado watch. That part of the storm capable of producing tornadoes.

(WEATHER REPORT) HOWELL: And that's why that information is so important, Derek. I've been talking about this.

Who are we talking to tonight?

We're talking to people who left and they're hoping their properties are OK. When can they come back, they're asking. We're talking to people who are hunkered down, riding the storm out. And those first responders who are waiting and have a lot of work certainly ahead.

We want to make sure all the information very clear, this storm still in play right now. And right now in this part of North Carolina, there is a tornado watch. So still a lot to keep a track on.


HOWELL: Derek Van Dam live for us in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

Again, CNN covering two major storms on opposite sides of the globe. We'll go live to the Philippines for an update on the typhoon that's bringing high winds and very strong, a lot of rain. Stay with us.





HOWELL: Welcome back to our breaking news coverage. Two powerful storms hitting at the same time. One here in the United States, the other on the other side of the globe in Asia.

Starting here in the United States here in the Carolinas, we are under a tornado watch here in Wilmington, North Carolina, as Florence has weakened from a full-blown hurricane and now is a tropical storm. It is a mess across the southeastern part of the United States.

The storm also we know has proven to be a deadly storm. At least five people have been killed across the region. And the damage along the coast of the Carolinas is extensive. The recovery will be long, slow and no doubt expensive.

Nearly a million customers are presently without power and electricity, including us in our hotel except for a generator that's keeping us warm for sure. We also know rescues are underway. Many people will be in need of rescue as these floodwaters continue to rise.

We're also following this other major storm that is affecting the Philippines right now. Our Anna Coren is live in Hong Kong for us, following that story --


HOWELL: -- this hour with an update on Typhoon Mangkhut.

COREN: Thank you, George.

The typhoon is battering the Northern Philippines with high winds and driving rain. Right now the storm is beginning to move off the island, the typhoon is headed to China but the wind and rain will continue to hammer the Northern Philippines.

Mangkhut is likely gain strength as it crosses the South China Sea with its sights set on Hong Kong. As of yet, there's been no report of casualties.


COREN: Let's go to Philippines where Alexandra Field is standing by in Santiago City.

Alex, when we spoke in the last hour, you said authorities claimed there were no fatalities that they could report of.

What's the latest information?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, at that point, they hadn't given us any update at any fatalities at all or any injuries. We are expecting to hear from officials again within the next hour. And that should give us the big picture view of what they were seeing on the ground.

Of course they have to coordinate with all the provinces that have been hit by what was a super typhoon when it made landfall right here in the Philippines. It was stunning a few hours into daylight, officials were able to say they haven't had any reports of casualties. That isn't to say there aren't any of course.

The information about the impact of this storm is slow going. You just heard there are still high winds, heavy rains, still the risk of storm surges and also the threat of landslides. You've got downed power lines, you've got debris that's in the roads. And that makes any search or rescue efforts particularly complicated.

But really the fundamental issue we're struggling with right now according to officials is the lack of communication. That's why information has been slow to trickle out. They are doing the best they can to get teams on the ground to assess the damage.

But that was the very optimistic note they were able to send a few moments ago. There have not been any reported fatalities. Again, we're waiting for the latest update that could come within the next hour.

This is a large area that we're talking about, more than 4 million people who were expected to be in the path of that storm, so a lot of information to gather and a difficult means of getting that information this morning.

COREN: Well, great to know we're getting an update from authorities within the next hour. But Alex, tell us about this area that has been hit, that really took the brunt of this storm, the people living there, the communities.

What sort of infrastructure are we dealing with?

FIELD: Yes, we were expecting that the storm would hit hardest specifically in two provinces, Sabayon and also Isabela --


FIELD: -- province, this was where they believed that the storm would unleash its impact. And certainly it does appear from the images that these are the provinces that have been hit hard.

Particularly the focus right now is on the north, where the storm seems to have done the worst job, seems to have really unleashed its full force there. And that's where communication is so limited.

We've heard from people who were there earlier in the overnight hours as that storm was starting to bear down. They still had communication. There were descriptions at that time of structural damage, windows were coming out. They were having to hunker down, wait it out, ride it out.

Evacuations were done in places where it was deemed to be necessary. That's the area that we're waiting to get the images from. This is very much a rural area. This is an important agricultural area, so the impact of this storm on the land is important but not as important as the human toll, when you talk about a storm like this.

That's why we're focused on finding out whether there are injuries and whether there are casualties.

COREN: All right, Alex, thank you for that update.

We are back live in North Carolina. After the break, flooding from tropical storm Florence could swamp parts of the northeastern United States for days. More details on that storm's devastating reach -- coming up.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell, live in Wilmington, North Carolina, covering Florence, now a tropical storm, a storm that has proven deadly.

COREN: And I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. We are monitoring the path of Typhoon Mangkhut. It was downgraded slightly after making landfall in the Philippines but could pick up steam again as it pushes towards China.

HOWELL: Anna, a major storm we will continue to follow with you.

We start here in the United States on the East Coast with this storm, you see it right there, over the state of North Carolina. The big concern right now is this major system is moving at a snail's pace. It's capable of dropping a great deal of water, causing severe flooding throughout.

And for the next several days rescuers will be working around the clock to help people in need.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a matter of seconds my house was flooded up to the waist and now it's up to the chest and we're stuck in the attic. There's four of us.

HOWELL (voice-over): Trapped and waiting for help as waters continue to rise. Tropical storm Florence is becoming more life threatening.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband (INAUDIBLE) yelling for help. And he tried to go outside (INAUDIBLE). But then the water got up like above his chest. And he had to come back inside. And it's the worst feeling in the world. (INAUDIBLE) You can't do anything.

HOWELL (voice-over): Emergency crews across the Carolinas are working to rescue as many people as they can from catastrophic flooding, worsening by the hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rain and that flooding equals danger. That means we have to have patience.

HOWELL (voice-over): In the meantime flying debris downed power lines and uprooted trees show the force of Florence battering the Carolina coast for more than 24 hours.

Here in Wilmington, North Carolina, a family of three was trapped when a tree crushed their home. Crews worked to save them. Some firefighters even prayed outside but the storm claimed the lives of a mother and her infant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This loss of life is devastating.

HOWELL (voice-over): The tragedy adds to the death toll officials warn may worsen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be a very trying period. This is something that we have not had before.

HOWELL (voice-over): Powerful, slow and relentless, the deadly storm is inching further inland, promising days of severe flooding.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOWELL: Right now we're in the thick of it. This is something that will be a multi-day event. You get a sense of the problem and now that's the problem rescuers will have to face. Massive rescue efforts underway across the state of North Carolina. My colleague, Chris Cuomo, spoke to governor about it.


ROY COOPER, NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: We have great first responders who are out in the water right now. Rescuing people. We have had loss of life. And we mourn that. I'll tell you this storm is relentless and excruciating and very slow. Moving at three miles per hour.

And with every inch of rain that falls in our rivers, it's that much closer to significant inland flooding.

We have already experienced the ocean surge that you're about to experience in South Carolina. And now we're deeply concerned about massive flooding inland. And we're still evacuating areas all along the rivers in North Carolina.

There's probably not a county or a person that won't be affected in some way by this very massive and violent storm. We in North Carolina are pulling together and we'll get through it. And we'll recover.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I think you'll wind up finding out you have friends that you never knew about. Not just in the state. Or in the neighboring states. But all across the country.

People are watching the storm. We come together in moments like this. It's one of the signature traits of us as a people. And God willing, it will be there again in a moment of need as we recover from this event.

You said there's been loss of life. We have been reporting five.

Is there an update?

COOPER: There are three confirmed deaths. We are investigating other deaths that have occurred to see if they are related to the storm.

You mention the help that we have gotten. We have received personnel and equipment from 23 --


COOPER: -- states across this country. I have talked to numerous governors who have sent help here. First responders who are putting their lives at risk.

We're all Americans when something like this happens. I am very grateful for our local, state and federal partners and the volunteers, the faith based groups and particularly people who have come from as far as California to help us out here in North Carolina. CUOMO: Governor, what are your emergency experts and officials telling you about the biggest concern with the duration?

I have stood in worse. You've lived through worse. Different times in North Carolina. I'm in South Carolina. But I have never seen anything be so consistent for so long.

What are they telling you about the concerns on that level?

COOPER: The problem is the combination of the ocean surge that we're getting, the storm surge from the sea. On top of the relentless rain that we're having. There's really nowhere for the river water to go. It usually discharges into the ocean. The surge backing it up.

The rain on top of that is causing massive flooding and the flooding is going to occur for several days. Because the rivers are going to continue to rise. Water is our main problem. And we know that floodwaters kill.

And we're urging North Carolinians to stay in place. And unless you're told to evacuate. And if you are, go. Get out of there. Get to higher ground.


HOWELL: And the governor of North Carolina speaking to my colleague, Chris Cuomo, and, you know, making the point, this storm, as it came in it was a category 4, dropped to 3, dropped to 2 and dropped to 1 and now it's a tropical storm, a reminder of people not to get too caught up in the category of these storms. Because when they hit inland they cause major damage.

This storm widespread across the southeastern part of the United States. Really affecting now moving into South Carolina. The folks there will feel the impact in the hours to come.

And where we are in Wilmington, under a tornado watch, those are the things you have to watch out for. And Wilmington, keep in mind, we're on the dirty side of the storm, the northeastern quadrant. That's the side that is capable of producing tornadoes.

These are the things people have to watch out for as these storms sit over land and crews do the best they can to make sure people are rescued and to give time so that the people who left can return safely.

Another storm is hitting hard on the other side of the globe. The force of Typhoon Mangkhut is being felt across the Philippines. We'll look at the recovery efforts there, I should say, as CNN's breaking news coverage continues live. Stay with us.



(HEADLINES) [02:40:00]


HOWELL: Welcome back. We're covering two major storms this hour. One affecting Asia, the other here in the United States.

We take a look here at tropical storm Florence. It's weakened from a full-blown hurricane but the hard rain and the strong winds have seen at least five people lose their lives across the region. First responders have identified almost 500 people in need of rescue from the rising waters here.

And we know there's 20,000 people sleeping in shelters this hour in North Carolina alone. There is expensive damage throughout the region. Recovery is going to be a slow, a long and expensive process. About a million customers are without electricity, including us here, where we're covering the storm, save for a couple of generators that are keeping us going.

Also this major storm on the other side of the globe affecting the Philippines. Let's go now live to my colleague, Anna Coren, following this storm.

COREN: Typhoon Mangkhut roared ashore earlier Saturday with damaging winds and pounding rain. Right now it is moving offshore after cutting a path through the Northern Philippines. The storm's next landfall forecasted to be here in Southern China. It'll likely strengthen as it moves across the South China Sea.

It lost its supertyphoon status while passing through the Philippines but it's still a very powerful storm system. Many in the country's north are reporting rising floodwaters, fling debris and damaged buildings.

Let's go back now to the Philippines, where our Alexandra Field is standing by in Santiago City.

Alex, I know you're expecting to hear from authorities within the next hour, which will give you a clearer picture as to the situation. But so far they're saying no fatalities, which is extraordinary. Compare that to the Typhoon Haiyan back in 2013, 6,000 dead, millions affected, what do you think the lessons are learned from Haiyan that authorities use for this typhoon?

FIELD: The memory of Haiyan is a storm that will simply not go away. There are a combination of factors that combined to leave a tragic disaster. You can't help but to learn the lessons from that.

But there are some key differences. This is happening in different parts of the country. Haiyan was a more powerful supertyphoon that hit back in 2013 in the southern part of the country. There's flatter topography down there. You're talking about a more densely populated area and there simply wasn't the kind of warning about the typhoon making landfall that you did have in this case. In this case, you had a super typhoon making its way toward the

northern part of the Philippines, North Luzon, and there was a lot of warning. There was wasn't a last minute change course or path so people were able to prepare and officials were able to prepare.

Over the last few days you had some 2,000 military personnel --


FIELD: -- deployed in North Luzon and going to the regions they thought would be most heavily affected. And they were helping people to evacuate. It wasn't a mandatory evacuation. It was heavily encouraged, though. We're told they had some 3,500 families mostly in those coastal areas move more inland.

They set up a number of shelters, thousands of shelters in the northern part of the country so people had a place to go. And it's worth pointing out this a part of the country prepared and more used to typhoons. There was a supertyphoon that hit back in 2016. It did damage tens of thousands of buildings.

Of course the emphasis is on protecting human life and you did have, from a national level, a level of preparedness here. You have the deployment of the military personnel and also had relief supplies prepositioned, including food and clean water, that, of course, key in the aftermath of these events.

And you had additional resources to be deployed. And we heard earlier this morning there were two cargo planes packed with food and supplies ready to go and also 10 helicopters ready to go that could be sent in, once weather cleared, in order to conduct rescue operations in the more mountainous region, that was the most heavily hit region in this storm.

COREN: Some of these areas, we know that they're remote, we know they're cut off.

How difficult is it going to be to access these parts of the country that we know there will be extensive damage?

FIELD: Yes, when you talk about a super typhoon, when you talk about the kind of wind speeds and wind gusts that were experienced here overnight, you have to imagine that there is devastation. Certainly that does affect infrastructure in most cases. It leaves an obstacle in the roadways.

And you're also talking about a mountainous region and a place where coastal regions are prone to storm surge. There are always obstacles in the aftermath in term of these kinds of events, just navigating, getting to where you need to go, even if you're going by helicopter to conduct these rescue operations you have to wait for the weather to clear to make those helicopters safely operable.

But beyond the difficulties of conducting search and rescue operations, you've got the difficulty in this case of the fact there's just been limited communication. That means it's taken officials longer to understand where they might have to be.

They did have this optimistic announcement earlier this morning that there had been no reported casualties or fatalities at that point. We will get the next assessment within the next hour. Obviously hoping that picture is staying very much the same, even as we see images of some debris and damage to buildings.

COREN: We hope and pray everyone is safe. Alexandra Field, thank you for your reporting.

Our coverage of our monster storms continue. After the break, we're back in North Carolina, where torrential rain from tropical storm Florence pounds the area.





HOWELL: Tropical storm Florence, it is here, moving inland slowly at a snail's pace, causing widespread flooding and heavy rains associated with these bands that are throughout the southeastern part of the U.S.

Officials fear the impact of all the water could be catastrophic before it's finally over. Remember, Florence was once a category 4 hurricane. So it's bringing on shore major storm surge in addition to major rains, leaving behind a great deal of debris on the roads.

We know of at least five deaths from this storm. Hundreds of people who didn't follow the warnings to evacuate or were unable to leave had to be rescued from the rapidly rising waters here. More than 900,000 customers presently without power.

Earlier, I spoke with a person who rode the storm out, Crystal Webb in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Crystal chose to ride the storm out from her home and now she is on a mission to help the animals that were left behind there. Take a look.


CRYSTAL WEBB, ANIMAL LOVER: One of the main reasons I stayed behind, when I stayed behind with Matthew, I became aware of just how many people, when they evacuate, they just leave their animals to fend for themselves. And these animals needed rescue.

So you know, I took that chance just to put my faith in and said I'm going to be OK, I'm going to be here. And before the storm, I was out looking. You know, I was getting messages from people all around, saying, hey, we've heard there is a dog at this address or there is a couple of dogs at this address or, you know.

And people have left their dogs in pens or chained up. These dogs don't have a chance of survival, especially when the water starts to rise. They'll drown. If we can't get to them, they're, you know, nobody is going to help them if we don't.

HOWELL: You know, Crystal, a moment ago we were just talking about risks, the risks that people take associated with these storms, certainly a risk to stay and hunker down through a storm.

But also, you know, because you care, right?

Because you care to make sure that these animals are protected, given these strong storms that come through.

WEBB: Well, it is a risk. And it's something that you take, you know. I do rescues throughout the year and any rescue is going to be a risk. I have been injured doing rescues before.

But, you know, it's worth it. When you save that dog and you know that that dog shows you that love, you bond with that dog because he is showing you appreciation for saving him -- because animals know when they've been rescued and they're going to show you that love, that appreciation.

And they never forget you. I have seen dogs a year or two after I've rescued them and they act like, you know, I was their long lost friend and just happy to see me. But they never forget. And it's worth it. It really is. You know, I put my heart and soul into it. And as soon as this storm will let up or --


WEBB: -- when curfew lets up, if the weather permits, I'll be back out there and, you know, just doing what I can. If I can only help one, to me, it's worth it.


HOWELL: And our coverage continues following the effects of tropical storm Florence here in the southeast U.S. I'm George Howell, live in Wilmington, North Carolina.

COREN: And I'm Anna Coren. We'll have more on Hurricane Florence and the devastation from Typhoon Mangkhut up next. Thank you for joining us. You're watching CNN.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

HOWELL (voice-over): Welcome back to our breaking news coverage covering two major weather events on opposite sides of the globe. I'm George Howell in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the middle of tropical storm Florence. And we're still feeling the effects of what has proven to be a deadly storm.

COREN: And I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong, where a powerful typhoon is threatening 4 million people in the Northern Philippines.

HOWELL: Anna, much more, of course, from Hong Kong here throughout the hour.

But first, let's start here in the United States, here in North Carolina --