Typhoon Hato kills 16 in southern China, Macau

by Antonio Miles August 25, 2017, 1:24
Typhoon Hato kills 16 in southern China, Macau

Hato was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, and was about 680 kilometres west of Hong Kong.

Typhoon Hato struck Macau and caused numerous power outages in the city of 270,000, which is across the mouth of the Pearl River from Hong Kong.

According to one civil servant who spoke to Reuters, the city "looks like it was just in a war".

Authorities and state media say the death toll from powerful Typhoon Hato in southern China has risen to at least nine.

"I am shocked with the late notice and lack of preparation that was given for this superstorm".

Three men aged 30 to 65 died, the Macau government said, while two people were missing.

Macau's chief executive Fernando Chui Sai-on yesterday apologised for the government's lack of preparedness.

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Hato knocked out power in Macau, forcing the closure of casinos as well as a hospital.

Footage on social media showed people being blown away on the streets, multi-storey auto parks engulfed by floodwaters and monster waves battering oceanfront tower blocks.

Many of Macau's casinos were forced to operate on backup generators after the storm.

Hato caused Hong Kong to suffer an estimated economic loss of between HK$4 billion (S$696 million) and HK$8 billion, said market analysts. The center of the storm passed about 37 miles south of Hong Kong with maximum sustained winds of 78 mph and heavy rain.

Severe flooding overwhelmed the teeming enclave, which is in the process of building new infrastructure such as a light rail to cope with a surge in visitors. More than 11,860 fishing boats have been moored. "If businesses are damaged by floods or wind, then they may have to remain closed considerably longer".

Meteorologists had earlier warned of unusually high flooding as the typhoon came during high tides.Hundreds of thousands of residents in low-lying areas, workers on coastal fish farms, and tourists have been transferred to safer places.

Hato's force had weakened and moved into China's Guangxi region on Thursday.

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