Super storm heads for Hong Kong, China after pummeling Philippines


HONG KONG/MANILA (Reuters) – An excellent storm swirled in the direction of Hong Kong and the Chinese coast on Sunday, gaining in energy over the South China Sea after hurtling by means of the Philippines, the place it wreaked havoc that killed at the least 25.

A broken constructing is seen as Typhoon Mangkhut hits Philippines, in Laoag, Philippines September 15, 2018 on this nonetheless picture obtained from a social media video. PHILIPPINE RED CROSS/by way of REUTERS

Tropical cyclone Mangkhut is considered the strongest to hit the area this year, packing gale pressure winds of greater than 200 kph (125 mph), equal to a most Category 5 “intense hurricane” within the Atlantic.

Philippine authorities mentioned at the least 25 individuals have been killed, including a child and a toddler, most of them in landslides in mountainous areas that left at the least 13 missing.

“The landslides happened as some residents returned to their homes after the typhoon,” catastrophe response coordinator Francis Tolentino mentioned on DZMM Radio, including that 5.7 million individuals had been affected and most have been ready.

“No matter how prepared we are, there is really some limitation.” [nL3N1W2017]

Mangkhut, the Thai identify for Southeast Asia’s mangosteen fruit, was expected to skirt 100 km (62 miles) south of Hong Kong and veer west in the direction of the coast of China’s southern Guangdong province, and the gaming heart of Macau. [nL3N1W05TE]

“According to the present forecast track, Mangkhut will be closest to the Pearl River Delta around noontime (0200 GMT),” the Hong Kong Observatory mentioned.

Hong Kong raised its highest No. 10 storm sign at mid-morning, as fierce waves pounded low-lying areas and powerful winds rattled home windows in multiple towering skyscrapers.

Some residents have been evacuated from low-lying areas with storm surges of as much as 3.5 m (12 ft) expected.

Tens of 1000’s of vacationers had plans disrupted after Hong Kong’s worldwide airport, a significant regional hub, canceled most flights. Airlines such as its flagship provider, Cathay Pacific, canceled multiple flights final week.

Last year, storm Hato, one of many strongest in latest years, pummeled the area, inflicting 9 deaths and injury in Macau, sparking criticism that authorities had not been nicely ready.

Raging floods water is seen in Baguio City as Typhoon Mangkhut, recognized regionally as Ompong, hit the Philippines, on this nonetheless picture obtained from a September 15, 2018 social media video. Jordan Rae Salinas/by way of REUTERS

This time, Macau has been cautious, with officials saying it shut on line casino playing operations late on Saturday and China’s People’s Liberation Army placed on standby for any catastrophe aid help.

“The suspension is for the safety of casino employees, visitors to the city, and residents,” the government of the world’s largest playing hub mentioned in an announcement.

China has ordered about 6,000 boats to return to harbor, and evacuated 1000’s of offshore oil platform staff, the state information company, Xinhua, mentioned.

(Graphic: Typhoon Mangkhut –


The storm, or “King of Storms”, as Chinese media describe it, is expected to make landfall in Guangdong between Zhuhai and Wuchuan within the night, climate officials say.

Slideshow (18 Images)

Ports, oil refineries and industrial crops in Guangdong have been shut. Power to some areas could even be diminished as a precaution, say grid operators.

The storm has fueled concern about Guangdong’s sugar output, with China sugar futures rising final week on fears for the cane crop. Guangdong produces about 1 million tonnes, or a tenth of nationwide sugar output.

The airport within the boomtown of Shenzhen has been shut since midnight, and can be closed till 8:00 a.m. (2400 GMT) on Monday. In Guangzhou, scheduled flights between midday on Sunday and eight:00 a.m. on Monday have been canceled.

More than 400 flights have additionally been canceled within the neighboring island province of Hainan.

Mangkhut’s northwesterly observe will deliver heavy rain and winds to the autonomous area of Guangxi early on Monday, before the storm weakens right into a tropical melancholy to get to southwestern Yunnan on Tuesday.

(This model of the story was refiled to reformat paragraph 1)

Reporting by James Pomfret, Anne Marie Roantree and Farah Master; Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio and Martin Petty in MANILA and Ryan Woo and Meng Meng in BEIJING; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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