Hong Kong, southern China clean up after super typhoon

HONG KONG/MANILA (Reuters) – The financial hub of Hong Kong began clearing up on Monday after being battered by one of the strongest typhoons in recent years, with financial markets and offices operating as normal.  A super typhoon made landfall in China’s Guangdong on Sunday, the country’s most populous province, after wreaking havoc in Hong Kong and Macau and killing potentially more than 50 people in the Philippines.

Parts of Hong Kong and Macau were severely flooded, though there were no immediate reports of fatalities. China Central Television, the state broadcaster, said four people had been killed in Guangdong, China’s most populous province of over 100 million residents.

The typhoon, dubbed the “King of Storms” by Chinese media, made landfall in Haiyan town at 5 p.m. local time, weather officials said.

Ports, oil refineries and industrial plants in the area have been shut. Power to some areas was also reduced as a precaution. In Shenzhen, the electricity supply to more than 130,000 homes was cut at one point on Sunday.

The storm has fueled concern about sugar production in Guangdong, which accounts for a tenth of national output at about 1 million tonnes. China sugar futures rose last week on fears for the cane crop.  Guangdong is also China’s most populous province, with a population of more than 100 million.

Packing winds of more than 200 kph at its peak, tropical cyclone Mangkhut is considered the strongest to hit the region this year.

Hong Kong raised its highest No. 10 typhoon signal mid-morning as ferocious winds uprooted trees and smashed windows in office and residential buildings, some of which swayed in the gusts, residents said.

In the Philippines, casualties reported by various agencies on Sunday evening indicate the death toll from the impact of Mangkhut could exceed 50, with most killed in landslides in or near mountainous areas of the Cordillera region.

Francis Tolentino, an advisor to President Rodrigo Duterte and head of the government’s disaster coordination, said the latest number of casualties was 33 dead and 56 missing.