MA­CAU CLOSES CASI­NOS AS MANGKHUT HITS HK

New Straits Times - - FRONT PAGE -

HONG KONG: Ma­cau shut down all its casi­nos in a his­toric first as Typhoon Mangkhut ap­proached yes­ter­day, with au­thor­i­ties warn­ing the gam­bling en­clave would be hit by se­vere flood­ing.

The Ma­cau govern­ment was heav­ily crit­i­cised by res­i­dents last year for fail­ing to pre­pare the city ahead of Typhoon Hato, which left wide­spread dam­age and 12 peo­ple dead.

A state­ment from au­thor­i­ties on Satur­day said the decision to shut Ma­cau’s 42 casi­nos was ap­proved by the city leader and agreed by gam­ing bosses.

“The sus­pen­sion of gam­ing op­er­a­tions is for the safety of casino em­ploy­ees, vis­i­tors to the city and res­i­dents.”

Casino staff said that venues would be shut un­til fur­ther no­tice as the city raised its sec­ond high­est storm warn­ing.

Ma­cau’s weather bureau yes­ter­day said the storm warn­ing would be raised to the high­est T10 level with the worst rain and winds ex­pected around mid­day.

Shops and busi­nesses were boarded up and pro­tected by sand­bags across the city and its streets, usu­ally crowded with tourists, were de­serted.

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