A gereral view of Victoria Habor during the approach of Super Typhoon ‘Mangkhut’ to Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. Mangkhut smashed through the Philippines as the biggest storm to hit the region this year. AFP
HONG KONG – The authorities issued Hurricane Signal No. 10 as “Super Typhoon Mangkhut” swirled towards Hong Kong and mainland coastline Sunday morning, gaining in force over the South China Sea after hurtling through the Philippines where it left at least 12 people dead.
The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) forecast that Mangkhut will be closest to the Pearl River Delta around noon, skirting about 100 kilometers to the south of Hong Kong.
Mangkhut is considered the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the region this year, with gale force winds of more than 200 kph, equal to a maximum Category 5 “intense hurricane” in the Atlantic.
The HKO raised the third highest No. 8 typhoon signal at 1:10 a.m. and replaced it with signal No. 9 at 7:40 a.m. Sunday before raising hurricane signal No. 10 at 9:40 a.m. as fierce waves pounded low-lying areas and strong winds rattled windows in many of the city’s towering skyscrapers.
“The Hurricane Signal, No. 10 will remain in force for a few hours,” it said in the bulletin.
Some residents have been evacuated from low-lying areas with storm surges of up to 3.5 meters expected.
Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in the city’s international airport on Sunday, the airport authority said, with airlines including the city’s flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, having already canceled many flights.
Last year, the region was pummeled by one of the strongest storms in recent years, Typhoon Hato. In Macao, Hato left nine people dead and caused extensive damage.
Macao has been extra cautious this time around. Gambling operations at its casinos were shut down late on Saturday, authorities said.
“The suspension of gaming operations is for the safety of casino employees, visitors to the city, and residents,” the Macao government said in a statement. /cbb
China Daily /Asia News NetworkChina Daily /Asia News Network
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