Typhoon Mangkhut Devastates Southern China, Forcing Millions To Evacuate

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After leaving a wake of destruction in the Philippines and Hong Kong, Typhoon Mangkhut has turned its attention to southern China as it moves north.

As reported by The Guardian, Mangkhut has been downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm as it rages over the southern parts of the country but has still forced over 3 million people to be moved further north from the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan.

The storm first made landfall in Guangdong, one of the provinces with the highest populations in the country, where it killed four people. As it started moving west along the coastline towards Guangxi around midnight, evacuations were ordered. The decision ultimately came after the scale of the storm’s destruction in Hong Kong was evaluated.

Hong Kong had experienced sustained winds of up to 107 miles per hour, with gusts reaching up to 138 mph, according to CNN. Some of the damage caused included “torn off roofs and scaffolding from skyscrapers, shattered windows, shaking high-rise buildings and serious flooding in low-lying areas as waves of more than three meters (9.8 feet) lashed the coast.”

Despite the large scale of destruction in Hong Kong, it is believed that the storm did not come at the same cost of human lives as it did in the Philippines, where at least 54 people are believed to be dead as a result.

By Monday morning, Heng Fa Chuen in Hong Kong saw downed trees, which blocked roads and even in some cases fell on vehicles. Apartment blocks were left without water and electricity. While clean water was bused in for residents, some would have to climb 22 flights of stairs to get their allocation into their homes.

Beachfront areas saw houses completely flooded with saltwater, with a number of residents losing all their belongings as a result. Seaside businesses suffered the same fates.

In Shek O, a golf course became the mooring ground for small sea vessels that had previously been docked out in the water. A former elementary school collapsed completely.

Just fewer than 400 people sought medical attention during and shortly after Mangkhut passed through Hong Kong.

Sadly, the storm was still classed as a super typhoon when it hit the area of Luzon in the Philippines. The monumental storm caused landslides in the town of Itogon, Benguet, under which at least 35 people were killed. Dozens more are missing and suspected to be buried under tons of mud. Search and rescue is still underway in the area.