Massive clean-up in Hong Kong after typhoon brings trail of destruction

Massive clean-up in Hong Kong after typhoon brings trail of destruction

HONG KONG: Hong Kong began a massive clean-up on Monday (Sep 17) after Typhoon Mangkhut raked the city, shredding trees and bringing damaging floods, in a trail of destruction that has left dozens dead in the Philippines and millions evacuated in southern China.

The death toll in the Philippines, where the main island of Luzon was mauled with fierce winds and rain, surged past 60 overnight as rescuers pulled more bodies from a huge landslide in the mountain town of Itogon.

The landslide buried an emergency shelter which was being used by miners and their families in the town.

No-one has yet been pulled alive from the rubble and relatives of those buried are taking part in the rescue efforts, the town's mayor Victorio Palangdan told AFP.

Mangkhut aftermath in Hong Kong
Typhoon Mangkhut led to damage at a home in Sai Kung, Hong Kong. (Photo: Ricky Li)

READ: Super typhoon slams into China after pummelling Philippines, Hong Kong

National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana told AFP that 43 other people are missing, and more than 155,000 people remain in evacuation centres two days after the typhoon struck.

After tearing through Luzon and pummelling Hong Kong and Macau, the storm made landfall in mainland China late Sunday, with two reported dead in Guangdong province.

Authorities there said they had evacuated more than 3 million people and ordered tens of thousands of fishing boats back to port before the arrival of what Chinese media had dubbed the "King of Storms".

Typhoon Mangkhut in hong kong (2)
A woman uses her umbrella as she walks past collapsed bamboo scaffolding hanging from a building during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Sep 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)

In the high-rise city of Hong Kong, the government described the damage as "severe and extensive" with more than 300 people injured in Mangkhut which triggered the maximum "T10" typhoon alert.

READ: Strong winds, heavy rain lash Hong Kong as Typhoon Mangkhut arrives

The monumental task of cleaning up the city began as residents, some in suits and ties, struggled to get back to work on roads that remained blocked by felled trees, mud and debris.

A driver removes a fallen tree during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong
A driver removes a fallen tree during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018 in this still image obtained from a social media video. INSTAGRAM/ @pcmarriott / YOUTUBE/pcmarriotthk/via REUTERS

Schools were closed, bus services halted, and travel disruption saw commuters piling onto platforms trying to board infrequent trains after trees fell on overhead lines.

Landslides and severe flooding affected some areas, with more than 1,500 residents seeking refuge in temporary shelters overnight.

Mangkhut aftermath in Hong Kong (1)
The aftermath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Sai Kung, Hong Kong. (Photo: Ricky Li)

FLOOD AND DEBRIS

The storm, with gusts of more than 230kmh, sent buildings swaying and waters surging into homes and shopping malls, with some roads waist-deep in water.

Windows in tower blocks and skyscrapers were smashed as people cowered inside.

In the neighbourhood of Heng Fa Chuen, thousands of rocks and pebbles from the sea covered parkland along the coastline which had been battered by pounding waves.

Low-lying fishing villages were also badly affected after seawater swept through.

Waves spilling over a sea barriers as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong
Waves spilling over a sea barriers as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong in this still image taken from a social media video on Sep 16, 2018. INSTAGRAM/@BLOCKCHAINMITV via REUTERS

Streets in the seaside village of Lei Yue Mun were covered in debris and glass as residents picked their way through.

The city's main Victoria Park had become an obstacle course with hundreds of trees down and many completely uprooted.

Emergency teams were sawing apart some of the biggest trees blocking roads and pathways across the city in a clean-up operation that is likely to take days.

Typhoon Mangkhut 1
Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong on Sunday (Sep 16), leaving fallen trees and sign posts on the roads in Prince Edward, Hong Kong. (Photo: Phoebe Wong)

typhoon mangkhut in hong kong (2)
A taxi is left abandoned after breaking down in floodwaters during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Sep 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)

In the neighbouring gambling enclave of Macau, all 42 casinos shut down for the first time in its history as the storm approached.

They opened again on Monday but Macau was still in recovery mode after severe flooding hit parts of the city, forcing emergency workers to rescue people from their shops and homes using boats and jetskis.

READ: Macau shuts down casinos for first time as storm approaches

Mangkhut aftermath in Hong Kong
Super Typhoon Mangkhut wreaks havoc on vessels in Sai Kung, Hong Kong. (Photo: Ricky Li)

As the storm moved past the enclave on Sunday, streets became submerged under water gushing in from the harbour.

On Monday morning, shopkeepers were hosing down their stores which had been left caked in mud after the flood waters receded.

Mangkhut aftermath in Hong Kong (1)
Super Typhoon Mangkhut wreaks havoc on vessels in Sai Kung, Hong Kong. (Photo: Ricky Li)

People were attempting to dry out cupboards and electrical appliances on the streets as police and volunteers helped with the clear-up.

The government and casinos took extra measures ahead of the storm, determined to avoid a repeat of Typhoon Hato which battered Macau last year, killing 12 people and drawing accusations the city was ill-prepared.

In Guangdong province, trees fell and some streets had ankle-level flooding.

Residents in Yashao village moved debris and branches off the roads for collection by a rubbish truck. A large propaganda billboard was blown down on the side of the road.

"I was scared. I didn't dare go out last night. At one point the flooding was this high," said villager Zhen Jingli, 62, pointing to his waist.

Source: AFP/cy

Bookmark