Vietnam was struck by a record-breaking number of 16 tropical storms past year that left 389 people dead or missing and injured 668 others, mostly in northern and central regions.
On Sunday, Mangkhut moved northwest to China, where it brought heavy rain and strong winds to several southern provinces.
The storm, with gusts reaching 160mph, 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.
While the death toll is now 54, with 32 people injured and 42 more missing, this is likely to rise in the coming days as rescue teams work to locate 36 people believed to be buried beneath landslides in the Cordillera Administrative Region, in the north of Luzon island.
Typhoon Mangkhut is on course to hit northeastern Cagayan province early Saturday.
"Because Mangkhut will bring winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity, our preparation and response efforts will be greater than in the past", Lee said.
The Philippines remains the worst hit, with more than 250,000 people affected by the storm across the country - around half of those seeking shelter in evacuation centers in the country's north.
Last year, the region was pummelled by one of the strongest storms in recent years, Typhoon Hato.
Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan told news wire AP that dozens of miners and their families had rushed into an old bunkhouse - that had been turned into a chapel - for refuge when the typhoon hit.
Philippine and Chinese authorities said the death toll from a typhoon has risen to at least 69 with dozens missing.
Officials have said in the past that gold mines tunneled by big mining companies legally or by unauthorized individuals and small outfits have made the hillsides unstable and more prone to landslides.
Most of the deaths there were caused by landslides, government officials say.
Chinese media reported that more than 2.45 million people had been evacuated in mainland Guangdong province.
Already, storm warnings were raised in 39 provinces across the Philippine main Luzon island, including Metro Manila, and some island off the island.
Francis Tolentino, a political adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, told the BBC that he estimated only a fifth of produce there had been harvested in advance - threatening staples like rice and corn.
China's National Meteorological Centre issued an alert saying Mangkhut would make landfall somewhere on the coast in Guangdong province on Sunday afternoon or evening.
House after house had been flattened or badly damaged, with roofs or walls missing.