Hong Kong hit by typhoon as 40 reported dead in Philippines

Hong Kong hit by typhoon as 40 reported dead in Philippines

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) raised the storm signal to T10 - the highest level possible - Sunday morning local time, with the city nearly entirely shut down.

Pio Badangayon cries while seeing the body of her son-in-law Edwin Banawol after it was retrieved by rescuers at the site where victims are believed to have been buried by a landslide after Typhoon Mangkhut lashed Itogon, Benguet province, northern Philippines. "Dozens of tress were uprooted and blown away and crashing into windows".

Mangkhut mauled Hong Kong with 175km/h (109mph) winds and there was a record storm surge, with floodwaters reaching their highest levels since 1904, according to the city's forecaster.

Authorities in southern China issued a red alert, the most severe warning, as the national meteorological center said the densely populated region would face a "severe test caused by wind and rain" and urged officials to prepare for possible disasters.

Despite its reputation for a dog-eat-dog competitive focus, Hong Kong residents said the storm had given a rare opportunity for solidarity.

Philippine and Chinese authorities said at least 69 have died, with dozens more missing, as buildings and power lines were torn down. The government and casinos took extra measures ahead of the storm, determined to avoid a repeat of Typhoon Hato which battered Macau previous year, killing 12 people and drawing accusations the city was ill-prepared.

Debris Scaffolding torn from Hong Kong buildings
Debris Scaffolding torn from Hong Kong buildings

"I was insisting because the storm was strong but he told me not to worry because he said they're safe there", said a weeping Felipe, adding that her husband was last seen chatting with fellow miners in the chapel before it was hit by the collapsing mountainside.

Rescuers are scrambling to dig up the landslide site, but they find at least 70 people who are still missing, majority buried alive by a landslide in the mining municipality of Itogon in Benguet province from the northern Philippines.

The storm battered the Philippines over the weekend, where more than 60 people were killed, many of them in landslides owing to heavy rains.

Earlier, the European Union has expressed its readiness to assist the Philippines in the recovery and relief operations due to the destruction caused by the typhoon.

The violent storm killed four in Shenzen, which is situated in China's southern province of Guangdong. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, flattened villages and displaced more than 5 million in the central Philippines.

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