2.4 million people moved out as Typhoon Mangkhut swings to China from Hong Kong.
Typhoon hits Guangdong after killing at least 60 in Philippines
HONG KONG: Typhoon Mangkhut barrelled into southern China after lashing the northern Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain that left at least 60 people dead and dozens more feared buried in a landslide.
More than 2.4 million people had been relocated in southern China’s Guangdong province yesterday to flee the massive typhoon and nearly 50,000 fishing boats were called back to port, state media reported.
The Hong Kong Observatory warned people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour landmark, where storm surges battered the sandbag-reinforced waterfront.
Mangkhut made landfall in the Guangdong city of Taishan at 5pm local time, packing wind speeds of 162 kph. State television broadcaster CGTN reported that surging waves flooded a seaside hotel in the city of Shenzhen.
Groceries flew off the shelves of supermarkets in Guangzhou as residents stocked up in preparation for being confined at home by the typhoon, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said.
Authorities in southern China had issued a red alert, the most severe warning, as the national meteorological centre said the densely populated region would face a “severe test caused by wind and rain” and urged officials to prepare for possible disasters.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled. All high-speed and some normal rail services in Guangdong and Hainan provinces were also halted, the China Railway Guangzhou
Group Co said.
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 also broke windows, felled trees, tore bamboo scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded areas with sometimes waist-high waters, according to the South China Morning Post.
The paper said the heavy rains brought storm surges of 3m around Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst.
“Because Mangkhut will bring winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity, our preparation and response efforts will be greater than in the past,” Lee said.
“Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst.”
In the northern Philippines, about 40 to 50 people, mostly smallscale miners and their families, were feared to have been trapped by a landslide in the far-flung village of Ucab in Itogon town in Benguet province, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said by phone.
Palangdan said three villagers who nearly got buried by the huge pile of mud and rocks told authorities they saw residents rush into an old three-storey building, a former mining bunkhouse that has been transformed into a chapel, at the height of the typhoon’s onslaught on Saturday afternoon.
“That was not an authorised evacuation centre,” Palangdan said.
Rescuers stopped their search intermittently because of heavy rain, and the search and rescue operation was suspended at nightfall and will resume today, Palangdan said.
Overall, at least 60 people have died in typhoon-related incidents in the Philippines, mostly from landslides and collapsed houses.
Trail of destruction: A policeman walking through makeshift tent shelters damaged by strong winds from Typhoon Mangkhut after it barrelled across Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines. — AP