2.4M people evacuated in southern China due to Typhoon Mangkhut

17 September, 2018, 10:09 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Typhoon Lashes South China After Killing 64 in Philippines

HONG KONG-Typhoon Mangkhut barreled into southern China on September 16-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.

Almost half a million people were evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province, the gambling enclave of Macau closed down casinos for the first time and the Hong Kong Observatory told people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour, where storm surges battered the waterfront reinforced with sandbags.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut landed at 5 p.m. on Sunday on the coast of Jiangmen City, south China's Guangdong Province, packing winds up to 162 km per hour, according to the provincial meteorological station.

Parts of Hong Kong and Macau were severely flooded, though there were no immediate reports of any fatalities. A red alert, the most severe warning, was issued for densely populated southern China, which the national meteorological center said would face a "severe test caused by wind and rain".

On Sept. 15-Mangkhut made landfall on the northeastern tip of Luzon island in the Philippines with sustained winds of 205 kilometers (127 mph) and gusts of 255 kph (158 mph).

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

High winds and swells also hit Fujian province north of Guangdong, shutting ports, suspending ferry services and cancelling more than 100 flights.

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 is expected to be one for Hong Kong's record books.

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

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Mr Ka-chiu added: "Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst".

More than 550 flights have been canceled at airports in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and more than 200 have been delayed, according to Flightaware.com. The city of Shenzhen also cancelled all flights between Sunday and early Monday morning. Macau suffered catastrophic flooding during Typhoon Hato previous year, leading to accusations of corruption and incompetence at its meteorological office. She said she and her family prayed as winds stronger than any previous typhoon battered the area.

China has ordered about 6,000 boats to return to harbor, and evacuated thousands of offshore oil platform workers, the state news agency, Xinhua, said.

Typhoon Mangkhut has crossed into mainland China where it is expected to continue weakening after cutting a deadly swathe across The Philippines and causing chaos in Hong Kong.

Police Superintendent Pelita Tacio said 34 villagers had died and 36 remained missing in landslides in two villages in Itogon town in the northern Philippine mountain province of Benguet.

Tacio, who was at the scene of the landslide earlier Sunday, says rescuers found another man but could not immediately pluck his body, which was pinned by rocks and mud. Officials say the death toll is likely to rise.

Typhoon Mangkhut had the equivalent strength of a category 5 Atlantic hurricane when it made landfall on the Philippines on Saturday.

Authorities were assessing the damage and trying to fix communication systems, the Philippines News Agency reported.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines have sent troops to the disaster area to help in the rescue and retrieval efforts.

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