Typhoon Hato sweeps through South China, kills 16

RSTV Bureau
Guangzhou : A man paddles a kayak along a flooded street caused by Typhoon Hato in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017.  Thousands of people were evacuated from parts of the mainland coast ahead of the storm's arrival, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.AP/PTI

Guangzhou : A man paddles a kayak along a flooded street caused by Typhoon Hato in Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017. Thousands of people were evacuated from parts of the mainland coast ahead of the storm’s arrival, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.AP/PTI

Typhoon Hato, the strongest storm to hit southern China in 53 years, killed at least 16 people and left over 150 others injured as it swept through Macau and Hong Kong region.

The typhoon made landfall on Wednesday, bringing winds of up to 160 kilometre per hour to the mouth of the Pearl river and heavy rain to nearby regions, the local meteorological department said.

The storm killed 8 people in Macau and had a severe impact across the city. Macau residents struggled with a massive power failures for nearly 24 hours, South China Morning Post reported.

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on said it was the strongest storm recorded in Macau in 53 years.

“The government is dedicating continued effort regarding coordinating the restoration of water and electricity supplies in order to ensure the Macau public can resume their normal lives as quickly as possible,” Chui was quoted in the report.

In Hong Kong, more than 120 were injured as the financial hub was lashed with hurricane winds and heavy rain.

In Guangdong, four people were killed and one remained unaccounted for.

Guangzhou: A woman holds on to her pet as they evacuate from flood waters caused by Typhoon Hato and the tide in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017. Thousands of people were evacuated from parts of the mainland coast ahead of the storm's arrival, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. AP/PTI

Guangzhou: A woman holds on to her pet as they evacuate from flood waters caused by Typhoon Hato and the tide in Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017. Thousands of people were evacuated from parts of the mainland coast ahead of the storm’s arrival, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported. AP/PTI

The government is said to have evacuated 26,817 people to temporary shelters and reports say and about 664 hectares of farmland has been damaged.

Power transmission facilities suffered heavy loss, disrupting electricity supply to 1.91 million households.

Alerts for landslides, flooding and other geological disasters have been issued.

“Compared to other typhoons, Hato moved fast, quickly grew more powerful and caused massive amounts of rainfall,” said Wu Zhifang, chief weather forecaster at Guangdong meteorological bureau.

Meteorologists had earlier warned of unusually high flooding as the typhoon came during high tides.

In one of the hardest-hit areas, 19 villages near the town of Guanghai, Taishan city, were flooded.

At least six ships on the mouth of the Pearl river had reported emergencies. Maritime rescue workers saved 118 crew, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

Hato is forecast to move northwest and enter Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. As the typhoon moves further inland, its strength is expected to drop.

In Guangxi, more than 15,000 workers at the local power grid were put on standby while precautions have been taken to minimise the damage caused by potential flooding and landslides.

(With inputs from PTI)