Typhoon Mangkhut hit southern China on Sunday after killing at least 64 people in northern Philippines and leaving several more buried in a landslide. It had struck Hong Kong earlier in the day.
More than 2.4 million people were evacuated in China’s Guangdong province by Sunday evening, according to AP. Guangdong is China’s most populated province. Ports, oil refineries and industrial plants in Guangdong were shut. Power to some areas were also snapped as a precaution.
China has ordered about 50,000 boats to return to harbour, and evacuated thousands of offshore oil platform workers. Hundreds of flights and all train services were cancelled owing to the typhoon. Macau, a major gambling hub in China, closed its casinos for the first time.
The typhoon made landfall in Guangdong’s Taishan city at 5 pm, with gale force of 162 kilometres per hour. Officials in China issued a red alert, the most severe warning. The region would “face a severe test caused by wind and rain”, the national meteorological center said.
Mangkhut is considered the strongest storm of 2018, according to BBC. It is expected to weaken by Tuesday.
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.
Fierce winds reportedly tore off roofs and caused partial building collapses. Authorities have warned of the threat of storm surging and flooding from torrential rain.