Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

More than 60 dead as Mangkhut continues into southern China

Super Typhoon Mangkhut: Most powerful storm on Earth in 2018 kills at least 14 in Philippines Typhoon kills two in Philippines, one off Taiwan
Faye Gross | 19 September, 2018, 14:18

The storm made landfall at 5 p.m. Sunday on the coast of Jiangmen City, south China's Guangdong Province, packing winds up to 100 miles per hour, according to the provincial meteorological station.

Hong Kong raised its highest No. 10 typhoon signal at mid-morning as ferocious winds uprooted trees and smashed windows in office and residential buildings. There were no reported deaths in Hong Kong, a city well prepared for tropical cyclones.

Numerous missing in the Philippines are gold miners and their families feared buried in a landslide after seeking shelter in a bunkhouse-turned-chapel in a village in Benguet province.

A dog attempts to climb a bamboo ladder in a flooded area in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut at Salonga Compound in Calumpit, Bulacan on September 16, 2018.

The 19 who died were part of a bigger group of 43 people, likely miners, and those who were still alive were feared to be trapped in an old mining bunkhouse that had collapsed under rubble, Salamat said. Three villagers who managed to escape told authorities what happened. "They say it is so strong, we were too scared to remain".

"No more mining should be done in this municipality", he said.

Rescuers were scrambling to pull out the body of a victim from the mound of mud and rocks in Ucab before Tacio left the area Sunday. About 70 men reportedly returned to their coastal village in Cagayan to check on their homes as the storm drew closer Friday, but Tolentino said he had received no reports of the men figuring in an accident.

Although rainstorm warnings been been canceled, residents were advised about river flooding.

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Mangkhut is expected to gradually weaken into a tropical depression by Tuesday as it continues to move inland.

The paper said the heavy rains brought storm surges of 3m (10ft) around Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's famed Victoria Harbor was also hit with a storm surge of more than 3.9 meters (12.8 feet) above chart datum on Sunday. Rail, airline and ferry services had been restored and casinos in the gambling enclave of Macau had reopened for business.

The government and casinos are taking extra precautions after Macau was battered by Typhoon Hato past year, which left 12 dead.

Mangkhut's sustained winds weakened to 170 kilometers per hour (km/h) with gusts of up to 260 km/h after it sliced across Luzon Island's flood-prone rice plains and mountain provinces toward the South China Sea, aiming at southern China and Hong Kong, where residents braced for the worst.

Nearly all flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled. More than 550 flights at airports in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou were also canceled, according to Flightaware.com.

China and the Philippines agreed to postpone a visit by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi that was to start on Sunday due to the typhoon's onslaught, which caused almost 150 flights, a third of them worldwide, to be cancelled and sea travel halted. The hardest-hit area was Benguet, where 38 people died, mostly in the two landslides in Itogon, and 37 are missing, the police said.

Emergency officials are unable to bring heavy equipment into Itogon as the landslides left the roads into the town impassible, forcing rescuers to dig through the rubble with only shovels and their bare hands.

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