Massive clean-up in Hong Kong after typhoon brings trail of destruction

Frederick Owens
September 17, 2018

Typhoon Mangkhut uproots trees, damages buildings and sends waves crashing into the coastline as it hits Hong Kong.

Typhoon Mangkhut has already killed dozens of people in the Philippines and destroyed buildings in Hong Kong.

As the storm passed south of Hong Kong, trees were snapped in half and roads blocked, while some windows in tower blocks were smashed and skyscrapers swayed, as they are created to do in intense gales.

Packing winds of more than 200 kph (125 mph) at its peak, Mangkhut is considered the strongest to hit the region this year.

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

In nearby Macau, severe flooding was reported and the enclave's casinos shuttered for the first time in history. Warnings were issued, travel was restricted, schools shut and the army was put on standby in advance.

Flights over the weekend and into Monday were cancelled in Hong Kong and the mainland cities of Shenzhen, Haikou, Sanya, Guangzhou and Zhuhai.

"The landslides happened as some residents returned to their homes after the typhoon", disaster response coordinator Francis Tolentino told DZMM Radio, adding that most of the 5.7 million people affected had made advance preparations.

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At least 64 people were killed in The Philippines, according to AP, and the normally bustling city of Hong Kong was effectively shut down as the storm battered the island.

While the other side of the world was preoccupied with the destructive power of Hurricane Florence as it drenched the Carolinas, Mangkhut hurtled into southern China's city of Taishan, in sprawling, densely populated Guangdong province, making landfall around 5 p.m.

Two days after Typhoon Mangkhut slammed into the remote Philippine town of Itogon, causing part of a mountain slope to collapse on a gold miners' bunkhouse, grim reports circulated that more than 40 people had been pulled from the wreckage. Mangkhut felled trees, tore scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded some areas of Hong Kong with waist-high waters. As in Hong Kong, they had stockpiled water and basic foods Saturday and Sunday, emptying stores. Storms are more likely in the Southeast Asian region.

More than 2.45 million people had by then been relocated and over 48,000 fishing boats called back to port, Xinhua news agency reported.

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.

President Rodrigo Duterte appeared at a televised Cabinet meeting following an aerial inspection of the affected areas and pledged funds following an for the recovery.

The storm caused severe transportation disruptions, with almost 900 flights cancelled in Hong Kong on Sunday, stranding tens of thousands of passengers. Most of Hong Kong's public transport has been suspended.

Vietnam was struck by a record-breaking number of 16 tropical storms past year that left 389 people dead or missing and injured 668 others, mostly in northern and central regions. Power to some areas could also be reduced as a precaution, say grid operators.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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