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Deadly Typhoon Mangkhut Forces Evacuation of Millions in Southern China

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

Typhoon Mangkhut, which left a path of death and destruction in the northern Philippines on Saturday, is now wreaking havoc on southern China. “More than three million people have been moved to safety,” CNN said.

Hong Kong experienced winds of up to 107 mph and gusts of up to 138 mph. “The storm tore off roofs and scaffolding from skyscrapers, shattered windows, shook high-rise buildings and caused serious flooding in low-lying areas as waves of more than three meters (9.8 feet) lashed the coast,” CNN reported Monday.

Typhoon Kills Four as It Strikes China's Most Populous Province

Mangkhut made landfall in Guangdong, China's most populous province, late Sunday afternoon. The typhoon then headed west into neighboring Guangxi province around midnight.

So far, four people have died. China’s English-language edition of People’s Daily reported flooding and damaged buildings across the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in South China’s Guangdong province. In Hong Kong, 745 residents were in temporary shelters set up by the government by early Sunday afternoon.

“Mangkhut, a severe storm named after the fruit mangosteen in Thai, was centered about 100 kilometers [62 miles] southwest of Hong Kong at average speeds of 118 kilometers [73 miles] per hour or more,” People’s Daily said.

“In Hong Kong, by 2 pm Sunday, a total of 111 people -- 60 men and 51 women -- had sought medical treatment at public hospitals during the typhoon. There were 76 reported cases of fallen trees,” the government-controlled newspaper said, but it made no mention of deaths from the typhoon.

All high-speed rail services were suspended in Guangdong province and thousands of flights were cancelled. Coastal cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Jiangmen ordered the closure of all businesses, markets and schools.

About 66 Fatalities in the Philippines; Number of Victims Expected to Rise

In the Philippines, the unofficial death toll stood at 66 on Sunday. That number is expected to rise as first responders continue to search for survivors.

Emergency workers recovered more than 40 bodies from the wreckage of a gold miners’ bunkhouse after Mangkhut set off a landslide, The New York Times reported. Local officials said the landslide buried the remote town of Itogon in a river of debris. Searchers compiled a list of 61 people believed missing and presumed dead.

A senior adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte estimated that 5.7 million people were affected by the storm nationwide. Mangkhut hit the island nation at the height of its powers, with winds topping 150 miles per hour, the Times said.

Duterte inspected parts of the disaster area on Sunday. He met with top officials in Tuguegarao City for a televised briefing on the damage and the recovery effort. “I share the grief of those who lost their loved ones,” Duterte said.

 

David Hubler David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, "The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation's Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever."