Super Typhoon Mangkhut was the strongest storm the planet has seen this year

At least five people have been killed in North and South Carolina by Tropical Storm Florence.

The storm was downgraded from its original category three hurricane status - but the region is still being pounded by rain and people are being urged to stay off the roads.

A woman and her child were killed were among those killed, when a tree fell into their house in Wilmington in North Carolina.

On Friday afternoon, the US National Hurricane Centre warned that the weather system would bring life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

A gas station damaged by the storm in North Carolina, 14-09-2018. Image: Liu Jie/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images 

Meanwhile, Super Typhoon Mangkhut has begun pummelling northern areas of the Philippines carrying wind gusts reaching 270kph.

The typhoon was the strongest storm the planet has seen this year before it made landfall on Cagayan province at 1:40 am local time.

Ricardo Jalad, head of the nation's disaster agency said two rescue workers were killed as they tried to free people trapped in the mountainous Cordillera region.

A body was also found in a river in Manila, according to police said.

The storm knocked out power as it tore across the northern part of Luzon Island - an area which is home to around 10 million people, many of whom live in flimsy wooden homes.

A man walks by a damaged house after Typhoon Mangkhut barrelled into Tuguegarao city in the north east of the Philippines, 15-09-2018. Image: Aaron Favila/AP/Press Association Images