The death toll in Typhoon Mangkhut hit 74 yesterday, Philippine authorities said, as rescuers used their bare hands to sift through a massive landslide in which dozens were feared killed in the worst-hit region.
The typhoon, the most powerful to strike this year, smashed homes and flooded key agricultural regions in the northern Philippines before battering Hong Kong and southern China with fierce winds and heavy rain.
As Hong Kong gradually got back on its feet, residents from teachers to refugees mobilised to help clean up after Mangkhut, which smashed windows, felled at least 1,000 trees and sent skyscrapers swaying.
The violent storm killed four in China's southern province of Guangdong and the toll rose to 74 yesterday on the Philippines' northern Luzon island according to police, with that number expected to further climb.
Up to 40 people are still feared buried in the landslide in Itogon unleashed Saturday as the typhoon stalled over the area and dumped a month's worth of rain in a matter of hours.
"While I said there is a 99-percent chance that all of them are dead, there is still that one-percent chance," Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan told AFP.
Meanwhile, rain-gorged rivers threatened further flooding on the storm-battered US East Coast Monday as the death toll from Hurricane Florence, now a tropical depression, jumped to 31.
Emergency management authorities in North Carolina said an earlier toll of 17 had risen to 25 since Florence made landfall Friday as a Category 1 hurricane, with its aftermath threatening further flooding.