Mangkhut, the most fearsome storm the world has seen this year has claimed at least 59 lives as it tears through the Philippines, Hong Kong and Macau, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Rescuers in the Philippines were desperately searching for victims of landslides, which were responsible for most of the deaths there. The death toll in the country rose to at least 59 by Sunday evening and was expected to rise further, local police said, with the mudslides caused by the heavy rains still threatening communities a day after the storm hit.
Officials said at least 40 people, mostly gold miners, were feared trapped or killed by a landslide after one slope collapsed on their bunkhouses. It was not immediately clear whether the miners were accompanied by their families when they were buried.
Rescue workers at the site combed through the rocks and sludge with hand-held shovels on Sunday, pulling bodies from the debris as they went.
The super typhoon slammed into China’s southern Guangdong province on Sunday forcing evacuation of over 2.45 million people. Mangkhut is set to weaken as it passes over inland areas of South China. The Hong Kong Observatory said it will consider whether to lower its warning status by one notch to Strong Wind Signal No. 3 before 6 a.m., which would allow stock trading to continue Monday as normal. All schools in the city, including six universities, will be shut. High winds and swells have also hit Fujian province north of Guangdong, shutting ports, suspending ferry services and cancelling more than 100 flights. Waves as high as 7.3 metres were sighted in the Taiwan Strait.
Mangkhut’s northwesterly track will bring heavy rain and winds to the autonomous region of Guangxi early on Monday, before it weakens into a tropical depression to reach southwestern Yunnan next day. (Source: AccuWeather/Sydney Morning Herald? Channel News Asia – Image: NASA)