Hong Kong, Southern China Clean Up After Destruction by Super Typhoon Mangkhut

September 17, 2018 Updated: September 17, 2018

SHANGHAIThe financial hub of Hong Kong began cleaning up Sept. 17, with financial markets and offices operating as normal, after being battered by one of the strongest typhoons in recent years.

Super typhoon Mangkhut, with winds of well over 124 mph, had barreled past the northern tip of the Philippines, killing at least 50 people. It then skirted south of Hong Kong and the neighboring gambling hub of Macau, before making landfall in southern China.

While parts of Hong Kong and Macau were severely flooded, there were no immediate reports of fatalities. China’s state-run broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), said four people were killed in Guangdong, China’s most populous province with over 100 million residents.

CCTV also said flood warnings had been issued for 38 rivers in the neighboring region of Guangxi, while 12 coastal monitoring stations reported their biggest-ever waves. It also said more than 32,000 acres (roughly 13,300 hectares) of farmland had been damaged.

As many as 2.45 million people in Guangdong Province had been evacuated as of Sept. 16, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The China Meteorological Administration said the typhoon, dubbed “King of Storms,” swept west to Guangxi at 6 a.m. and weakened to a tropical storm. The agency forecast the storm would hit the southwestern areas of Guizhou, Chongqing, and Yunnan on Sept. 17.

The meteorological administration said Mangkhut was one of the 10 biggest storms to hit southeast China since 1949—when records began—with wind speeds at about 100 miles per hour (162 km per hour).

The Hong Kong Observatory also reported that Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the city since 1979.

Across Hong Kong, authorities worked to clear roads of debris, including toppled trees and bamboo scaffolding. Some buildings, including the One Harbourfront office tower, had many smashed windows, a day after some of the city’s skyscrapers had swayed with the ferocious gusts.

“Yesterday’s storm was very strong. Even for a person of my weight, I was about to be blown down by the wind, which made me very scared,” said a 70-year-old resident surnamed Fung.

“It was very serious this time,” Fung added.

On Sept. 17, Hong Kong residents were told to stay away from the coastline and be on alert for occasional gales. Bus, ferry, and rail service were suspended and almost 900 flights were canceled at the city’s airport, according to the Associated Press. Flights in the region were resuming slowly after a complete shutdown on Sept. 16.

Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported that the city’s hospitals were forced to use backup power due to outages caused by the storm.

Stock and financial markets opened as normal on Sept. 17 in Hong Kong and the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

In Macau, badly hit by a super typhoon last year, authorities were much more prepared this time, ordering casinos to close late on Sept. 15 night as the storm approached.

Casinos were operational again early on Sept. 17, although authorities were still struggling to restore power to some of the 20,000 households that suffered power cuts.

Macau gambling stocks were down in early Sept. 17 trading.

By David Stanway & James Pomfret. Epoch Times staff member Annie Wu contributed to this report.

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