Typhoon Mangkhut hurtled towards Hong Kong on Sunday, lashing its coastline and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing dozens in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland.
The massive storm, considered the world’s biggest this year, has already left large expanses of the Philippines’ Luzon island underwater as its fierce winds ripped trees from the ground and rains unleashed dozens of landslides.
In Hong Kong, weather authorities issued the maximum alert for the storm, which rocked the city with fierce gusts that have reportedly reached 232 kilometers (145 miles) per hour.
As the storm tore past south of Hong Kong, trees were snapped in half and roads blocked, while windows and walls in tower blocks and skyscrapers were smashed.
The Philippines was just beginning to count the cost of the typhoon, but authorities have confirmed at least 25 were killed when it smashed into Luzon on Saturday.
In the northern town of Baggao, the storm collapsed houses, tore off roofs and downed power lines. Some roads were cut off by landslides and many remained submerged.
Farms across Luzon, which produces a large portion of the nation’s rice and corn, were sitting under muddy floodwaters, their crops ruined just a month before harvest.
“We’re already poor and then this (storm) happened to us. We have lost hope,” 40-year-old Mary Anne Baril, whose corn and rice crops were spoiled in the storm, told AFP.
“We have no other means to survive,” she said through tears.
More than 105,000 people fled their homes in the largely rural region.
Source: News Agencies