It's the strongest storm to hit Hong Kong in five years, weather service says
Typhoon killed 12 and caused massive power outages in Macau
A strong typhoon struck the coast of China Wednesday, bringing massive winds and flooding to the cities of Macau and Hong Kong.
Twelve people have been reported killed so far following Typhoon Hato’s arrival in southern China.
Eight people died in the gaming mecca and former Portuguese colony of Macau, according to a spokeswoman for the government.
Among the dead were a 62-year-old man who died in a fall, a 45-year-old man who was hit and killed by a car and a 30-year-old man who was trapped under a wall.
Meanwhile in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, four people have been reported dead so far according to Chinese state media Xinhua.
The storm made landfall Wednesday morning and caused widespread power outages throughout Macau, according to local media.
In a statement Thursday, a Macau government spokesman said it was the strongest storm to hit the city in 53 years. “(The storm) had a severe impact across the city,” the statement read.
Photos and videos posted on social media during the storm showed surging waves, collapsed scaffolding and flash flooding across the island.
The Macau government said it was still working to restore water and electricity supplies to the city in its Thursday statement.
Hato initially was a mid-level tropical storm but quickly strengthened into a typhoon, according to CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.
More than 60 million people across densely populated southern China ended up being in the storm’s path, he said.
The Hong Kong Observatory, the city’s weather service, declared a Signal 10 Tropical Cyclone Warning – the highest-level storm alert – early Wednesday.
It’s the first time in five years the city was hit with a T-10 typhoon.
Massive swells and flooding affected multiple areas in Hong Kong – the storm struck during high tide – and many trees were uprooted in the city’s coastal regions.
According to the Hong Kong government, almost 700 reports of fallen trees were made across the city by the evening, while more than 100 people sought medical treatment.
Most businesses were closed as the storm struck, as was the financial hub’s stock market.
Winds as fast as 77 kilometers per hour (48 mph) with maximum gusts of 127 kilometers per hour (79 mph) were recorded on Lantau Island, where the Hong Kong International Airport is located.
Some 480 flights were canceled on Wednesday evening, an airport official said, while on Thursday their website was still warning of potential delays.
A high water level of 3.7 meters (more than 12 feet) was recorded in the fishing village of Tai O on Lantau Island, the observatory said.