The death toll from Severe Typhoon Hato rose to at least 16 Thursday after the storm, reportedly the strongest since 1968, left a trail of destruction across southern China, blacking out Macau’s mega-casinos and battering Hong Kong’s skyscrapers.
Eight died in the gambling hub of Macau, where local media showed cars underwater and people swimming along what are normally streets. The enclave’s famed mega-casinos were running on backup generators.
A man was killed after being injured by a wall that blew down, another fell from a fourth floor terrace and one was hit by a truck.
The Macau government said two bodies were found in a flooded carpark early Thursday, but details on the remaining victims were not immediately available.
The enclave’s sprawling Venetian casino resort had been on back-up power Wednesday and without air conditioning or proper lighting, according to one source.
A member of staff at the Grand Lisboa Hotel in central Macau told AFP Thursday that it was still without electricity and water and that its casino and restaurants were closed following the typhoon.
Ferry services between Macau and Hong Kong resumed Thursday morning but passengers said they experienced delays.
Macau’s government broadcaster TDM said Hato, was the strongest since 1968 to hit the world’s biggest gambling hub and home to around 600,000 people.
In Hong Kong, Hato — whose name is Japanese for “pigeon” — sparked the most severe Typhoon 10 warning, only the third time a storm of this power has pounded the financial hub in the past 20 years.
The city could have suffered losses of HK$8 billion ($1.02 billion), Chinese University of Hong Kong economics professor Terence Chong told AFP, referring to the value of its daily GDP.
More than 120 were injured as the city was lashed with hurricane winds and pounding rain. However, one 83-year-old man earlier thought to be a victim of the weather had committed suicide during the typhoon.
In the neighboring southern Chinese province of Guangdong, at least eight people have died, state broadcaster CCTV reported, while around 27,000 were evacuated to temporary shelters, the official Xinhua news agency said. Nearly two million households were briefly without power.
CCTV said four of the mainland deaths had occurred in Zhuhai, three in Zhongshan and one in Jiangmen.