Agencies Hong Kong/Manila
A super typhoon made landfall in China's Guangdong Sunday, the country's most populous province, after wreaking havoc in Hong Kong and Macau and killing potentially more than 100 people in the Philippines.
Packing winds of more than 200 kph at its peak, tropical cyclone Mangkhut is considered the strongest to hit the region this year.
The eye of Mangkhut, the Thai name for Southeast Asia's mangosteen fruit, skirted 100 km south of Hong Kong but the former British colony was still caught in the typhoon's swirling bands of rain and gale-force winds.
Hong Kong raised its highest No10 typhoon signal mid-morning as ferocious winds uprooted trees and smashed windows in office and residential buildings, some of which swayed in the gusts, residents said.
Water levels surged 12 ft in some places and waves swamped roads and threw up live fish, washing into some residential blocks and a mall in the eastern Heng Fa Chuen district.
"It's the worst I've seen," resident Martin Wong told Reuters. "I've not seen the roads flood like this (and) the windows shake like this before."
Flight cancellations at Hong Kong's international airport, a major regional hub, disrupted the plans of tens of thousands of travellers.
In the Philippines, casualties reported by various agencies indicate the death toll from the impact of Mangkhut could exceed 100, with most killed in landslides in or near mountainous areas of the Cordillera region.
Scores of people trapped in an old mining bunkhouse that had collapsed under rubble have died, an official said.
Search and rescue missions were ongoing, and a local mayor in Benguet, Victorio Palangdan, said he feared the number killed there could be more than 100.
In Macau, which took the unprecedented step of halting casino gambling late on Saturday, there was serious flooding of up to 2.5 metres, authorities said, with some people having to be rescued from homes on rubber dinghies.
The typhoon, dubbed the "King of Storms" by Chinese media, made landfall in Haiyan town at 5pm local time, weather officials said.
Ports, oil refineries and industrial plants in the area have been shut. Power to some areas was also reduced as a precaution. In Shenzhen, the electricity supply to more than 130,000 homes was cut at one point on Sunday.
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