Heavy winds and huge waves as Typhoon Mangkhut lashes Hong Kong

Waves caused by Typhoon Mangkhut is seen in Hong Kong China in this still image from a Sept 16 2018 video from social media. Twitter/@ALEXHOFFORD via Reuters

Philippine authorities confirmed 6 people were killed in landslides with four more missing, while another was found dead in a river in Manila, the capital.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at Hong Kong International Airport and all high-speed rail services were also halted.

The storm has weakened from a typhoon to a low pressure area as it moves over southern China, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

More than 50 domestic and global flights were suspended hours before the landfall.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the city since 1979, packing maximum sustained gusts of 121 miles per hour.

Hong Kong was also buffeted by fierce winds that tore off roofs, downed trees and caused cranes perched atop half-built skyscrapers to swing ominously. Gambling operations at its casinos were shut down late on Saturday, authorities said, while China's People's Liberation Army was on standby to provide disaster relief assistance if need be.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said at least three people died and six others were missing in his mountain city of Baguio after strong winds and rain destroyed several houses and set off landslides, which also blocked roads to the popular holiday destination.

The Hong Kong government said Mangkhut will pose "a severe threat to the region" as many residents in the city and neighbouring Macau stocked up on food and supplies.

A man walks past fallen trees after Typhoon Mangkhut hit Shenzhen Guangdong province China Sept 17 2018. Reuters
A man walks past fallen trees after Typhoon Mangkhut hit Shenzhen Guangdong province China Sept 17 2018. Reuters

Typhoon Mangkhut is one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in decades.

Two more people were killed as the storm made landfall in southern China, according to Chinese state broadcaster CGTN.

Philippine police say the death toll from Typhoon Mangkhut has climbed to 64.

Forecasters said the southwest monsoon enhanced by the typhoon will bring gusty winds with occasional moderate to heavy rains over Visayas in the central Philippines, while scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains over Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, northern Mindanao in the southern Philippines and Cargo Administrative region in the northeastern section of Mindanao.

Chinese media reported that more than 2.45 million people had been evacuated in mainland Guangdong province.

The mayor of Itogon told The Associated Press the miners and their families had been warned that the structure wasn't safe, but that many people had sought shelter there nonetheless.

The typhoon is arriving at the start of the rice and corn harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were scrambling to save what they could of their crops, Mamba said.

Officials have said in the past that gold mines tunneled by big mining companies legally or by unauthorized individuals and small outfits have made the hillsides unstable and more prone to landslides.

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