Typhoon Mangkhut kills over 50 in Philippines; heads for China, Hong Kong

MANILA – Hong Kong and southern China were under maximum on Sunday as strong winds and heavy rain from Typhoon Mangkhut lashed the densely populated coast, a day after the biggest storm of the year left at least 50 dead in the northern Philippines.

More than 130 people were injured and nearly 10,000 fled to temporary shelters, according to Radio Television Hong Kong, as gusts of more than 170 kilometers per hour battered Hong Kong, with the epicenter passing around 100 kilometers south of the city.

Most were killed in landslides in or near the Cordillera mountain region, according to media reports. At least 40 people, mostly gold miners, got trapped in a landslide in the country’s north.

Nearly 250,000 people have been affected by Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines.

Nearly half a million people had been evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province of China, and the Hong Kong Observatory warned people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour landmark, where storm surges battered the waterfront reinforced with sandbags.

Hong Kong and nearby Macau issued a rare No. 10 warning signal – the highest level possible – for the typhoon on Sunday. The cities are almost entirely shut down and one of Macau’s main attractions, local casinos, were ordered to close for the first time in history, CGTN reports. The disaster has already left five people injured in Macao, according to local media.

The approaching storm has also disrupted power lines, as well as air and rail traffic, with a total of nearly 900 flights cancelled.

Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to be the most intense in the southern part of the country this year. China’s nuclear plants, Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station, which lie in Mangkhut’s destructive path are reportedly “in combat readiness,” bracing for the coming disaster.

Footage circulating on social media shows fierce winds, tearing off roofs and parts of buildings in Hong Kong and nearby areas.

The city is almost entirely shut down. In Shenzhen, some 20km from Hong Kong, several small buildings were seen literally blown down by the storm.

Another dangerous disaster – Hurricane Florence – has meanwhile made landfall over the eastern US, killing at least 11 people.