Typhoon Mangkhut lashes south China after killing 36 in Philippines
AT least 36 people have been confirmed dead and at least 40 others are feared buried in a landslide a day after Typhoon Mangkhut plowed through the northern part of the Philippines, authorities said Sunday.
In Itogon, Benguet province, Mayor Victorio Palangdan said at least 32 people died while 29 are missing, mostly due to landslides caused by torrential rains.
He added that another 40 to 50 people, who were staying inside a bunkhouse that was buried under a landslide, are feared dead.
Presidential adviser Francisco Tolentino earlier said that four people were reported dead in Nueva Vizcaya province.
Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said in a statement that two rescuers who were reported Saturday to have died in a landslide in the central Philippine province of Cordillera were subsequently accounted for.
Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall early Saturday at the northern tip of the Philippine’s Luzon island, with maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometres per hour and gusts that peaked at 330kph.
The typhoon displaced tens of thousands of people, mostly in the northern and central provinces, with evacuees numbering more than 150,000.
Damage caused by the typhoon to rice and corn crops could reach 11 billion pesos (K311.8 billion/US$203 million), according to the government’s initial estimates.
The typhoon left Philippine territory Saturday night, continuing to move on a westward track toward Hong Kong.
Nearly half a million people had been evacuated from seven cities in China’s Guangdong province, the gambling enclave of Macau closed casinos for the first time and 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 city of Taishan in Guangdong province at 5pm local time (3:30pm in Myanmar), packing wind speeds of 162kph. State television broadcaster CGTN reported that surging waves flooded a seaside hotel in the city of Shenzhen.
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.
On Sunday morning, the typhoon packed sustained winds of 155kph and gusts of up to 190 kph. The Hong Kong Observatory said although Mangkhut had weakened slightly, its extensive, intense rainbands were bringing heavy downfall and frequent squalls.
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, and 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 waisthigh waters, according to the South China Morning Post.
The paper said the heavy rains brought storm surges of 3 metres around Hong Kong.
Residents pick their way through a public market that was destroyed as Typhoon Mangkhut barrelled across Tuguegrao city in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines, on Saturday.