Typhoon Mangkhut hits south China after dozens killed in Philippines

Super Typhoon Rammasun slams China. Net photo.

Typhoon Mangkhut continued on its destructive path on Sunday as it hit the southern coast of China, killing two, after leaving at least 64 dead in the Philippines amid landslides and flooding.

The storm battered the heavily populated Guangdong region on Sunday afternoon with 100mph (160km/h) winds, after skirting 62 miles from Hong Kong.

In Guangdong, more than 2.4 million people have been evacuated. The storm made landfall in the the city of Haiyan around 5pm local time, according to China’s central meteorological observatory. China Central Television said the had typhoon triggered storm surges as high as 3 meters. By late evening, the Chinese state broadcaster said two lives had already been lost.

Schools have closed until Tuesday, the high-speed rail line has been suspended and hundreds of flights have been cancelled, according to China’s state news agency, Xinhua. In the southern province of Fujian, officials have ordered thousands of fishing boats to return to harbour and closed construction sites near the coast.

As the storm brushed passed Hong Kong, high winds smashed windows in the city, tearing off parts of buildings and roofs, while storm surges flooded hotels and restaurants with waters waist-deep. More than 100 people were injured. The neighbouring Chinese gambling enclave of Macau also closed all 42 of its casinos for the first time.

In the Philippines, the total death toll rose to 64. The heaviest casualties were in Benguet province, where 38 people died, mostly in two landslides, and 37 are still missing, the police said. Dozens of people, mostly small-scale miners and their families, are still feared to have been trapped by a landslide in the far-flung village of Ucab in Itogon town in the province, according to the local mayor, Victorio Palangdan. Supt Pelita Tacio said 34 villagers had died.

Four others – including two children – were buried in a landslide in Nueva Ecija, another person died in Kalinga, and one was killed by a falling tree in Ilocos Sur, said Francis Tolentino, an adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte. A pregnant woman was also among the fatalities.