Typhoon Mangkhut leaves death and destruction from Hong Kong to Philippines

Mangkhut weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm as it moved deeper into southern China on Monday, leaving death and destruction from Hong Kong to the Philippines.

The storm was still affecting southern China's coast and the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan and rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.

A woman walks past collapsed bamboo scaffolding hanging from a building during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Sunday. The storm had maximum sustained gusts of 195 km/h in the city. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Hong Kong residents were told to stay away from the coastline and be on alert for occasional gales. Bus, ferry and rail services were suspended and almost 900 flights were cancelled at the city's airport, one of the world's busiest. The South China Morning Post said Hong Kong's hospitals had to use backup power due to outages caused by the storm.

Mangkhut earlier lashed the Philippines, sparking landslides and building collapses that killed at least 65 people, with another 43 missing. Authorities reported four deaths from falling trees and building materials in Guangdong, China's manufacturing hub.

Strongest cyclone in Hong Kong since 1979

As of Monday morning Mangkhut was on track to pass over the Guangxi regional capital of Nanning and move toward the border with tourism powerhouse Yunnan province.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the city since 1979, packing maximum sustained gusts of 195 kilometres per hour.

A girl walks on debris caused by Typhoon Mangkhut on the Hong Kong waterfront. Mangkhut felled trees, tore scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded some areas of Hong Kong with waist-high waters. (Vincent Yu/Associated Press)

Typhoon Mangkhut barrelled into southern China after lashing the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain that caused landslides feared to have buried dozens.

More than 2.4 million people had fled in southern China's Guangdong province by Sunday evening, state media said. "Prepare for the worst," Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents.

Landslide obliterates building with dozens inside

That warning followed Mangkhut's devastating march through the northern Philippines on Saturday with sustained winds of 205 km/h. Landslides caused by the pounding storm hit two villages in Itogon town in the mountain province of Benguet.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan told The Associated Press by phone that at the height of the typhoon's onslaught Saturday afternoon, dozens of people, mostly miners and their families, rushed into an old three-storey building in the village of Ucab.

Rescuers carry a body Monday from the site where victims are believed to have been buried by a landslide after in Itogon, Benguet province, northern Philippines. Dozens of people rushed into a three-storey building that was later destroyed by a landslide. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press)

The building — a former mining bunkhouse that had been transformed into a chapel — was obliterated when part of a mountain slope collapsed. Three villagers who managed to escape told authorities what happened.

"They thought they were really safe there," the mayor said Sunday. He expressed sadness that the villagers, many of them poor, had few options to survive in a region where big corporations have profited immensely from gold mines.

Hong Kong skyscrapers rocked by high winds

The rescue work halted for the night before resuming Monday morning. Men used pikes and shovels to dig into the mud because the soaked ground was unstable and limited the use of heavy equipment on site.

The typhoon was occurring as tropical weather also was devastating the southern U.S. Florence has dumped historical levels of rain on North Carolina.

The storm shattered glass windows on commercial skyscrapers in Hong Kong, sending sheets of paper pouring out of the buildings. (Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)

Mangkhut made landfall in the Guangdong city of Taishan at 5 p.m. local time Sunday, packing wind speeds of 162 km/h. State television broadcaster CGTN reported that surging waves flooded a seaside hotel in the city of Shenzhen.

The storm shattered glass windows on commercial skyscrapers in Hong Kong, sending sheets of paper pouring out of the buildings, fluttering and spiraling as they headed for the debris-strewn ground, according to videos on social media.

Mangkhut also felled trees, tore scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded some areas of Hong Kong with waist-high waters, according to the South China Morning Post.

Casinos on Macau were ordered closed for the first time due to the typhoon.


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