Southern China, Hong Kong assess losses from Typhoon Hato

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Last Update: 08:36
Typhoon Hato has battered southern China, Hong Kong and Macau - leaving at least 12 people dead and a trail of destruction. Flights and trains have been canceled across China’s Guangdong province.Ferry services resumed between Macau and Hong Kong on Thursday as the region began reopening roads and trying to recover from one of its worst storms in decades.

Typhoon Hato, Japanese for "pigeon," packed winds of up to 200 kilometers per hour (125 mph) as it smashed into apartments in Macau.

According to the regional government, five people were killed and 153 injured in Macau, which in better weather is known as China΄s gambling enclave. The state broadcaster TDM reported that the storm - a 10 on the Beaufort scale - was the region΄s strongest since 1968.

Hato cut electricity supplies to half of Macau΄s 600,000 residents. Many casinos switched to emergency generators.

Pump failures resulted in severe flooding. People held plastic buckets while queuing on sidewalks for potable drinking water.

Flights, trains canceled

Train services were canceled across Guangdong, as well as numerous flights at Shenzhen΄s international airport. Coastal residents were evacuated, and fishing boats were called back to port.

China΄s state news agency Xinhua reported four deaths from falls and accidents and an electricity blackout affecting 2 million households.

Hato also brought Hong Kong, Asia΄s financial center, to a standstill, leaving at least 84 people injured and halting hundreds of airline flights.

Videos on social media showed flooded streets, uprooted trees and shuttered skyscrapers, their scaffolding swept away. Economic losses amounted up to 1 billion dollars (850 million euros), the South China Morning Post reported.

ipj/mkg (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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