Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

’Super typhoon’ Mangkhut nears Hong Kong, China after slamming Philippines

’Super typhoon’ Mangkhut nears Hong Kong, China after slamming Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut has killed over 60 people already and has left destruction in its path through the Philippines, Hong Kong and mainland China.

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.

Hong Kong's stock trading on Monday morning will be canceled if there is a typhoon signal no. 8 or higher after 9 a.m., according to Hong Kong stock exchange rules.

The storm made landfall in the Guangdong city of Taishan at 5 p.m., packing wind speeds of 162 kilometers (100 miles) per hour.

Parts of Hong Kong and Macau were severely flooded, though there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

On Sunday morning, the typhoon packed sustained winds of 155 km/h and gusts of up to 190 km/h.

"According to the present forecast track, Mangkhut will be closest to the Pearl River Delta around noontime (0200 GMT)", the Hong Kong Observatory said.

Nearly all flights in and out of Hong Kong were canceled.

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

Hong Kong's security minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst.

The world's biggest storm this year left large expanses in the north of the main Philippine island of Luzon underwater as fierce winds tore trees from the ground and rain unleashed dozens of landslides.

Hundreds of flights from the city's airports were delayed or canceled, and much of the city's public transport has been suspended. Flights have been canceled in Guangzhou and the neighboring island province of Hainan.

People walk through floodwaters
People walk through floodwaters caused by Typhoon Mangkhut on the waterfront in Hong Kong on Sept. 16 2018

The gambling enclave of Macau, meanwhile, closed its casinos for the first time.

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

In Macau's inner harbour district on Sunday, the water level reached 1.5 metres and was expected to rise further.

He condoled with the families of those killed in the typhoon.

In Fujian province and other parts of southern China, tens of thousands of fishing boats returned to port and construction work came to a stop.

Residents and relatives of miners in Itogon township, Benguet province in the northern Philippines, carry their belongings as they evacuate to following landslides triggered by Typhoon Mangkhut burying an unknown number of miners and isolating the township Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.

The government earlier confirmed 28 deaths in landslides and other accidents in areas outside Itogon when Mangkhut swept through Saturday.

Rescuers were scrambling to pull out the body of a victim from the mound of mud and rocks in Ucab before Tacio, the police official, left the area Sunday. In the Philippines, where most of the deaths have occurred, a landslide caused by the storm is mainly to blame.

Typhoon Mangkhut had the equivalent strength of a category 5 Atlantic hurricane when it made landfall on the Philippines on Saturday. A massive evacuation ahead of Mangkhut helped lessen potential casualties, with about 87,000 people evacuating from high-risk areas, officials said.

Police Director General Oscar Albayalde told the Associated Press that 20 people had died in the Cordillera region, four in Nueva Vizcaya province and another outside of the two regions, as the typhoon battered the rice-growing and mountain area Saturday.

The Philippines military had planned to send two C-130 airplanes and 10 helicopters to Cagayan province for typhoon relief and rescue efforts, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, via Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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