Hong Kong, southern China clean up after super typhoon | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 18, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:51 AM, September 18, 2018

Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions evacuated in China

4 killed in Guandong as storm makes landfall; death toll hits 65 in the Philippines

-- Mangkhut leaves at least four dead in Guangdong as it heads west

-- Some trains, flights still suspended in southeast China

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-- Among 10 biggest storms to hit region since 1949 -weather bureau

More than three million people have been moved to safety in southern China as Typhoon Mangkhut moved northward and continued to wreak havoc across the region yesterday.

Mangkhut made landfall in Guangdong, China's most populous province, late afternoon Sunday, killing four people before heading west into neighbouring Guangxi province around midnight.

Meanwhile, Philippine rescuers yesterday searched desperately for dozens feared buried under a landslide unleashed by the typhoon.

Also read: Typhoon Mangkhut slams into China

The confirmed death toll across the northern Philippines, where the main island of Luzon was mauled by fierce winds and rain, reached 65 and was expected to rise further given the number of missing.

Searchers used shovels and bare hands to dig through mounds of rocky soil in the northern Philippine mountain town of Itogon, where 11 bodies have been pulled from the rubble and dozens more may still be trapped after a landslide buried an emergency shelter.

Relatives of the missing were among those taking part in the search for survivors, with little hope they are still alive.

"We believe that those people there, maybe 99 percent, are already dead," the town's mayor Victorio Palangdan told reporters.

Tearful families surrounded a whiteboard bearing names of the dead and missing as others inspected recovered bodies for signs these could be their loved ones.

Joan Catteg, 42, told AFP her missing cousin Harvey had taken shelter at the bunkhouse.

"He texted his wife not to worry. He said nothing bad will happen to him and that once the rain stops, he will go up. But he hasn't returned until now."

More than 155,000 people remain in evacuation centres in the Philippines two days after Mangkhut -- the world's most powerful storm this year -- struck, said national police spokesman Benigno Durana.

Across northern Luzon, which produces much of the nation's rice and corn, farms were under muddy floodwater, their crops ruined just a month before harvest.

Hong Kong began a massive clean-up yesterday after the typhoon raked the city, shredding trees and bringing damaging floods in a trail of destruction.

The government of the high-rise city described the damage as "severe and extensive" with more than 300 people injured.

The monumental task of cleaning up began as residents, some in suits and ties, struggled to get back to work on roads that remained blocked by felled trees, mud and debris.

Bus services were halted and commuters piled onto platforms trying to board infrequent trains after trees fell on overhead power lines. Schools will remain closed through today.

Landslides and severe flooding affected some areas, with over 1,500 residents seeking refuge in temporary shelters overnight.

'KING OF STORMS'

The storm, with gusts of more than 230 kilometres per hour (142 mph), sent buildings swaying and water surging into homes and shopping malls in Hong Kong, with some roads waist-deep in water.

Windows in tower blocks and skyscrapers were smashed as people cowered inside.

In the neighbourhood of Heng Fa Chuen, thousands of rocks and pebbles from the sea covered parkland along the coastline which had been battered by waves.

The city's main Victoria Park became an obstacle course with hundreds of trees down and many completely uprooted.

In the neighbouring gambling enclave of Macau, all 42 casinos shut down for the first time in its history as the storm approached.

They opened again yesterday but Macau was still in recovery mode after severe flooding hit parts of the city, forcing emergency workers to rescue people from shops and homes using boats and jetskis.

Yesterday morning, shopkeepers in Macau were hosing down their stores which had been caked in mud after the floodwaters receded.

The storm made landfall in mainland China late Sunday, killing four in Guangdong including three hit by falling trees.

Authorities there said they had evacuated more than three million people and ordered tens of thousands of fishing boats back to port before the arrival of what Chinese media dubbed the "King of Storms".

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