Mon, Sep 17, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Typhoon lashes China after killing 64 in Philippines


Large waves created by Typhoon Mangkhut hit Repulse Bay beach in Hong Kong yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Typhoon Mangkhut yesterday barreled into southern China after lashing the northern Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain that left at least 64 people dead and dozens more feared buried in a landslide.

Ahead of the massive typhoon, more than 2.4 million people had been evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong Province.

Macau closed casinos for the first time and the Hong Kong Observatory warned people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour landmark, where storm surges battered the sandbag-reinforced waterfront.

Mangkhut made landfall in the city of Taishan, in Guangdong, at 5pm, packing wind speeds of 162kph.

Chinese state television’s English-language news channel CGTN reported that surging waves flooded a seaside hotel in Shenzhen.

Authorities in southern China had issued a red alert, the most severe warning, as the national meteorological center said the densely populated region would face a “severe test caused by wind and rain” and urged officials to prepare for possible disasters.

Yesterday morning, the typhoon packed sustained winds of 155kph and gusts of up to 190kph.

The Hong Kong Observatory said that although Mangkhut had weakened slightly, its extensive, intense rainbands were bringing heavy rainfall and frequent squalls.

Hundreds of flights were canceled. All high-speed and some normal rail services in Guangdong and Hainan provinces were also halted.

In Hong Kong, a video posted online by residents showed the top corner of an old building break and fall off while in another video, a tall building swayed as strong winds blew.

The storm also broke windows, felled trees, tore bamboo scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded areas with sometimes waist-high waters, the South China Morning Post reported.

The paper said the heavy rains brought storm surges of 3m around Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu (李家超) urged residents to prepare for the worst.

“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. “Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst.”

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) said all of its flights would be canceled between 2:30am yesterday and 4am today.

Shenzhen also canceled all flights between yesterday and early this morning.

Hainan Airlines Co (海南航空) canceled 234 flights in the cities of Haikou, Sanya, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai scheduled this weekend.

In Macau, casinos were ordered to close from 11pm on Saturday, the first time such action was taken in the city, the South China Morning Post reported.

Macau suffered catastrophic flooding during Typhoon Hato last year, leading to accusations of corruption and incompetence at its meteorological office.

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

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