Typhoon Mangkhut: Deadly typhoon lands in south China

17 September, 2018, 11:29 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Floodwaters inundated the fields of the Stanley White Recreation Center in New Bern NC in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence on Sunday | AP

In Macau, badly hit by a super typhoon past year, authorities were much more prepared this time, ordering casinos to close late on Saturday night as the storm approached.

Typhoon Mangkhut left a trail of destruction and injuries in Hong Kong as it barrelled towards mainland China after ripping through the Philippines.

More than 2.4 million people had been evacuated in southern China's Guangdong province by Sunday evening to flee the massive typhoon and almost 50,000 fishing boats were called back to port, state media reported.

Most shops and public services are shut, and more than 800 flights have been cancelled at Hong Kong International Airport - affecting more than 100,000 passengers.

The storm, with gusts of more than 230 kilometres per hour (142 mph), sent buildings swaying and waters surging into homes and shopping malls in Hong Kong, with some roads waist-deep in water. Flights in Guangzhou and Shenzhen were also cancelled, and regional high-speed train services were suspended, according to AP. However, there were no reported deaths in Hong Kong, a city well prepared for tropical cyclones.

A Philippine police officer says at least 40 people, mostly gold miners, are feared to have been trapped in a landslide in the country's north and seven bodies have been dug out by rescuers.

The typhoon was the second this year to be regarded as the most powerful, with winds tipping 180mph monitored when it started forming.

Both evacuations and emergency preparations in the area were rolled out for the nearly 11 million strong population, and many people were spared the crashing winds over the last few days.

The storm shattered glass windows on commercial skyscrapers in Hong Kong, sending sheets of paper pouring out of the buildings, fluttering and spiraling as they headed for the debris-strewn ground, according to videos on social media.

The Observatory's track information showed the record-breaking wind speed was recorded at 2am on Saturday, when Mangkhut had made landfall in the northern Luzon region of the Philippines.

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Mangkhut has now been downgraded to a severe typhoon, having approached the coast as a Category 5 storm - the strongest possible - with winds of up to 269km/h.

Casinos in the gambling centre of Macau were shut down and some 20,000 homes were left without power, the South China Morning Post reported.

Flights via Shenzhen Airport were all cancelled on Sunday until 8 am Monday.

Mangkhut also felled trees, tore bamboo scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded some areas of Hong Kong with waist-high waters, according to the South China Morning Post.

The government and casinos are took extra precautions after Macau was battered by Typhoon Hato past year, which left 12 dead.

In Macau's inner harbor district yesterday, the water level reached 1.5m and was expected to rise further.

Residents and relatives of miners in Itogon township, Benguet province in the northern Philippines wait as a worker cuts a toppled tree with a chainsaw as they evacuate following landslides triggered by Typhoon Mangkhut burying an unknown number of miners and isolating the township Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Food supply is sufficient and prices are stable even in affected areas, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said at the meeting. A massive evacuation ahead of Mangkhut helped lessen potential casualties, with about 87,000 people evacuating from high-risk areas, officials said.

Farms across northern Luzon, which produces much of the nation's rice and corn, were sitting under muddy floodwater, their crops ruined just a month before harvest.

Though Typhoon Mangkhut has now been downgraded, experts say Mangkhut may well end up being a deadly storm as it has already claimed over 60 lives with more than dozens missing.

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