At least 12 people were killed after Typhoon Hato hit in Hong Kong on Wednesday, flooding streets and forcing thousands of residents to flee to shelters, AP reported. In Macau, eight people were killed, vehicles were submerged and people were forced to wade through waterlogged streets. Three of the eight died in accidents related to heavy rain and gusts of wind.

Hato passed within 60 km of Hong Kong on Wednesday, ravaging the city before passing onto mainland China. Businesses, government offices, schools and the Hong Kong stock market remained closed. The typhoon forced 450 flights to be cancelled.

By noon on Wednesday, the storm caused winds of over 125 kmph, with gusts reaching 208 kmph in some outlying islands. Subsequently, Hong Kong’s weather officials sounded an alert for the highest hurricane signal.

This is the first time in five years that a warning of this level has been issued in Hong Kong. The last such alert was sounded in 2012 during Typhoon Vicente.