Full alert as massive super-storm nears Philippines

Full alert as massive super-storm nears Philippines

Full alert as massive super-storm nears Philippines

Hong Kong's high rise skyline swayed under the force of Manghkut, unnerving residents in the precipitously tall rocking buildings, as it swept through the island as a Signal 10, the highest possible typhoon warning level on Sunday. "It made me feel so dizzy", said Elaine Wong, who lives in a high-rise tower in Kowloon.

Some residents have been evacuated from low-lying areas with storm surges of up to 3.5 m (12 ft) expected.

Some roads were waist-deep in water with parts of the city cut off by floods and fallen trees on Sunday afternoon as the rains continued.

A vital transportation hub in the region, Tuguegarao airport in northern Luzon, was damaged in the storms, according to the Department of Transportation, forcing the cancellation of more than 100 local and global flights. Airlines such as flagship carrier Cathay Pacific canceled many flights last week.

In the Philippines, the New York Times reports more than 60 were killed in landslides and flooding, while millions are affected with homes and communities destroyed.

The storm has carved a deadly trail across the region, killing two people in southern China and at least 54 people in the Philippines.

"I think most guests are understandably concerned about the strength of the storm, but I speak for myself and my family in that we believe we are safe here", said the Guangzhou-based journalist, adding that hotel staff have been very helpful.

Separately, the coastguard said it had recovered the bodies of three people. This time, Macau has been cautious, with officials saying it shut casino gambling operations late on Saturday and China's People's Liberation Army put on standby for any disaster relief assistance.

For nine-hours, Macau was strongly battered by typhoon Mangkhut considered one of the strongest to hit the territory since records began and the strongest storm of the year worldwide.

It made landfall in the Philippines Saturday at 1:40 a.m. local time, packing winds of up to 270 kph (165 mph), 120 kph (75 mph) stronger than Hurricane Florence that hit North Carolina.

Ports, oil refineries and industrial plants in Guangdong have been shut. Power to some areas were also reduced as a precaution. China sugar futures rose last week on fears for the cane crop.

No deaths have been reported so far.

More than 2.4 million people had been evacuated in southern China's Guangdong province by Sunday evening to flee the massive typhoon and almost 50,000 fishing boats were called back to port, state media reported. "It has the strongest sustained wind (among the typhoons of this year)".

According to the Hong Kong Airport Authority, 889 flights were cancelled on Sunday because of the storm.

South China regions including Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were affected by strong gales and heavy downpours Sunday morning.

Hundreds of flights from the city's airports were delayed or cancelled, and much of the city's public transport has been suspended.

Super typhoon Mangkhut is approaching the Philippines with estimated 167 miles per hour winds and gusts to 200 miles per hour, threatening a devastating impact to the northern tip of the main island of Luzon when it makes landfall on Saturday.

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