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Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

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Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

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Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

As Typhoon Mangkhut moved past Hong Kong and struck southern China, the authorities in the Philippines said that landslides had buried dozens, including people sheltering in a church and a dormitory for miners. The death toll there was rising sharply as rescue workers began moving in.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

The storm had weakened overnight but was still a severe typhoon, with gusts of up to 100 miles an hour, the Hong Kong authorities said. Buildings in that city swayed, trees were downed, windows shattered and hundreds of flights were canceled.

In southern China, the storm made landfall in densely populated areas in the afternoon, including a major center of heavy industry. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated in Guangdong Province.
A mayor in Benguet Province in the Philippines said that dozens of people were trapped when landslides buried a church and a dormitory for miners in the area. Rescuers were racing to dig people out, but many were feared dead.

“I can’t begin to accept this, but it looks like the casualties here are going to go up to at least 100,” said Victorio Palangdan, the mayor of Itogon, Benguet, a region in the central highlands on Luzon Island.
The overall death toll in the Philippines had already moved past 25 in other areas of the country, officials said.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Francis Tolentino, a senior adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, estimated that 5.7 million people had been affected by the storm, and that distributing rice and other supplies to the hardest-hit areas was a major concern.

President Rodrigo Duterte inspected part of the disaster area and met with top officials in Taguegarao City for a televised briefing on the damage and the recovery effort.

“I share the grief of those who lost their loved ones,” the president said.

Videos posted by the Philippine Red Cross in the early hours of Sunday morning show rescue efforts in San Fabian, Pangasinan Province, on the western side of Luzon. Rescuers evacuated families from their homes on boats as the water had risen to neck deep levels in some areas.
Hong Kong is used to fierce storms, but when Typhoon Mangkhut struck the city on Sunday, it soon became clear that this one was different. Wind gusts as strong as 160 miles an hour swept through the city, rocking tall buildings and fueling storm swells that threatened the coastline with waves as high as 40 feet.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

At midday, the city’s normally teeming streets were devoid of people and cars. The weather authority issued its highest typhoon warning — a signal 10. The government also issued a landslide warning, urging people to stay away from steep hills and retaining walls and asking residents in vulnerable areas to evacuate.

And for the first time ever, Macau, the Asian gambling capital further along the Chinese coast, closed its casinos because of a storm.

Hong Kong residents hunkered down in their apartments, having cleared many grocery-store shelves the day before in preparation.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Others took refuge in shelters. The city’s airport, a central transit point for much of Asia, was virtually shut down, with at least 543 flights canceled and many more delayed, disrupting nearly 100,000 travelers. The outdoor sections of Hong Kong’s vaunted subway system were taken out of service. In Mong Kok, a crane collapsed at a construction site, but no injuries were reported.
Hong Kongers took to Facebook and WhatsApp messaging groups, circulating pictures of the hurried preparations: cars and motorcycles mummified with cling wrap, indoor storefronts encased with spiderweb-like tape. One Instagram user photoshopped Spiderman onto the side of a Hong Kong building, where he’d pitched in by putting tape on a window.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China
But as the storm bore down in full force, the postings became more ominous. In a city of towering apartment buildings, some reported they were becoming motion-sick as their homes twisted and swayed. Videos showed glass windows and doors smashing, pedestrians being blown off the ground and residents frantically scooping rain out of their balconies to prevent flooding.
China’s southern coast is struck
Storm radar also showed the typhoon battering Guangdong Province, just across the Hong Kong border in mainland China. High-speed rail service was suspended in the province, and workers took precautionary measures at two nuclear plants along the coastline.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Guangdong, China’s most populous province, has extensive experience with typhoons, and makes elaborate preparations for each of them. Evacuations of low-lying areas are mandatory. Fishing vessels are ordered into well-protected anchorages. After 16 workers were killed when their shanty collapsed in a typhoon in 2003, the province pursued a strenuous campaign of demolishing or upgrading substandard housing.

The Pearl River Delta area, which also includes Hong Kong, is one of the world’s most important manufacturing hubs and home to more than 60 million people.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

The sprawling river delta is barely above sea level and has struggled with flooding despite years of investment in drainage systems. Climate change has exacerbated the problem. The provincial capital, Guangzhou, has more to lose from rising seas and more severe storms than any other city on the planet, according to a World Bank report.
The New York Times reporters Hannah Beech and Kimberly dela Cruz traveled along Luzon’s western and northern coasts on Saturday. Foliage, trees and rolling coconuts were strewn across the roads, which were deserted except for volunteer crews removing debris to make them passable and the occasional emergency vehicle.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China
In one community after another, they reported seeing downed trees and badly damaged buildings. Signs, tin roofs and gates that had been torn free flew about.

In Claveria, a corn- and rice-growing area on the northern coast, the Antonio family had fled their home about 1 a.m. for sturdier shelter. Marck James Antonio, 24, stayed behind and was struck and gashed in the right temple by flying debris. But he was conscious and still moving around.

“This was the strongest and the worst storm that I’ve ever experienced in my life,” said his mother, Teresita Antonio, 54. “I was crying before because I don’t know how I will be able to afford to fix my house.”

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

“It was shaking like an earthquake,” said another resident, Robert Tumaneng, 55, a fish farmer. From a road above, the area where the fish ponds once were looked like a giant lake, with the tips of submerged palm trees and thatched roofs sticking out.

Further east, in Sanchez Mira, more than 270 people had sought shelter at a community hall.

“Some people didn’t want to evacuate their homes but I forced them,” said Rewin Valenzuela, 48, a local leader. “We evacuated everyone to prevent loss of life.”

The winds made it difficult to stand outdoors but some residents were returning home, carrying mattresses and plastic buckets with food and other provisions. The roofs had been torn off other houses and a few that were built on stilts listed dangerously.

The 12 million residents of the metropolitan Manila area, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, appeared to have been spared major destruction as the center of the storm passed hundreds of miles to the north.

The megacity was hit by heavy rain and strong winds, with trees uprooted and flooding in some areas. Among the inundated roads was Roxas Boulevard, a major artery that runs along Manila Bay and often floods during storms.

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

Typhoon Mangkhut hits Hong Kong and China

More than 1,600 families were evacuated after the Marikina River, which runs through part of the city, began rising quickly because of runoff from nearby mountains. The police said the body of a child, about 10 years old, was found floating in the river under a bridge in Pasig, one of several cities that make up Metro Manila.

By Sunday, the river had subsided and the families were allowed to return.

The Manila area sits near sea level on the shore of Manila Bay, making it vulnerable to the typhoons that sweep in from the Pacific.

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