Typhoon Mangkhut, which made landfall in Philippines on Saturday, swirled towards Hong Kong and the Chinese coast on Sunday, reported CNN.
The Hong Kong Observatory raised the storm signal to the highest level, T10, on Sunday morning, hours before the storm was expected to make landfall near the city. Tropical cyclone Mangkhut is considered to be the strongest to hit the region this year, with gale force winds of more than 200 kph (125 mph), equivalent to a maximum Category 5 “intense hurricane” in the Atlantic, reported Reuters.
Fierce winds have reportedly torn off roofs and caused partial building collapses. Authorities have warned of the threat of storm surging and flooding from torrential rain.
Some residents have been evacuated from low-lying areas with storm surges of up to 3.5 metres (12 feet) expected. Several flights in and out of Hong Kong have been cancelled owing to the typhoon, according to Xinhua. Airport Authority of Hong Kong said at least 1 lakh passengers are likely to be affected. Public transport too have been suspended in Hong Kong.
According to China’s National Meteorological Center, Mangkhut is expected to land in Guangdong in the south between Sunday afternoon and evening.
Ports, oil refineries and industrial plants in Guangdong have been shut. Power to some areas could also be shut down as a precaution. China has ordered about 6,000 boats to return to harbour, and evacuated thousands of offshore oil platform workers.
Macau, a major gambling hub in China, too upgraded its typhoon signal to its highest level on Sunday reported Xinhua. Transport services were suspended, while water and power were still being supplied.
In the Philippines, at least 25 people died as the typhoon made landfall on Saturday. The typhoon caused landslides, floods, and power outages, whipping the country’s main island Luzon with winds of more than 200 km per hour.