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HONG KONG — Nearly 1,200 flights were officially cancelled in and out of Hong Kong International Airport over the weekend as Typhoon Manghkut made landfall with a vengeance.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority confirmed the news on Sunday, raising the total number of cancelled flights from 900. The city’s Airport Express train and bus service have also been suspended, as have ferry services between the airport and all of the Pearl River Delta ports.
Cathay Pacific cancelled all flights on September 16, and announced that a number of flights on Sept. 17 will also be cancelled. “A small number of flights will have their scheduled departure times delayed until Monday, 17 September,” it wrote on its website.
Manghkut arrived in Hong Kong from the Philippines on Sunday afternoon, bringing with it recorded winds of 173 kilometres per hour and gusts up to 223 kilometres per hour, reports CNN.
The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) raised the storm signal to T10 – the highest possible level – on Sunday morning. This marked only the 15th time in the last 60 years that a T10 has been issued.
Manghkut is already clocked as the most powerful storm of 2018. Earlier on Saturday, it devastated the Philippines, killing 65 people with dozens more feared dead due to a huge landslide in Benguet province, among the worst-hit areas. Mayor Victorio Palangdan said at a news conference that of the 40 to 50 people thought buried, there’s a “99% chance that they really are all dead,” reports Global News.
As of Monday afternoon, Manghkut was headed to China’s southern coast and the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan where it killed another four people. Rain and strong winds are expected to continue through Tuesday. It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.
Meanwhile, the U.K. is bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Helene, which is expected to arrive tonight, Sept. 17, with winds of up to 70 mph. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning to central parts of England, Wales and southern Scotland for 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 18.
“Helene is still over the Atlantic but it’s weakening and we’re a lot more confident of what’s going to happen,” said a Met Office spokesman. “The centre of the storm will go up through the middle of Ireland and most of the strong winds will be in the Irish sea and to the west of Scotland.”
Uprooted trees and fallen branches will pose a serious risk to lives, said the Office, and are urging residents to be wary. Travel services are also likely to be disrupted.
— CNN International (@cnni) September 16, 2018
Typhoon Mangkhut's fierce winds tore off roofs and caused damage to buildings in Hong Kong this weekend.
— CNN International (@cnni) September 17, 2018
— Aphrodite (@arissabeans) September 16, 2018
Death and destruction in China from Typhoon Mangkhut. Warning, graphic images and video. When I was in China during the last typhoon there were no warnings. Many people outside perished. ☹️😢🙏#TyphoonMangkhut pic.twitter.com/IJSzB3yCQT
— Mister Phoenix (@MisterPheenix) September 16, 2018
Our cars are swimming 😭😭
Fortunately most of people are safe because of advanced notice.
— Joy Deng (@dwjuan705) September 17, 2018
Desperate relatives are among more than 700 workers digging by hand to search for at least 55 people missing, feared buried under this large mudslide in #Itogon, #Benguet Province. @SBSNews #Mangkhut #Ompong #Philippines pic.twitter.com/jzwiS7vKs9
— Virginia Langeberg (@VLangeberg9) September 17, 2018
With file from The Associated Press