At least 3 dead after Typhoon Hato batters Macau

At least nine people are dead and many still missing after one of the strongest typhoons on record barrelled into the southern Chinese territory of Macau, with rescuers searching submerged cars for trapped people.
Typhoon Hato had moved to Macau after smashing into Hong Kong with hurricane force winds and heavy rains. An uprooted tree is seen on a public housing estate in Heng Fa Chuen, Hong Kong, China on Aug 23, 2017.
Typhoon Hato had moved to Macau after smashing into Hong Kong with hurricane force winds and heavy rains. An uprooted tree is seen on a public housing estate in Heng Fa Chuen, Hong Kong, China on Aug 23, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

HONG KONG - Typhoon Hato moved west to Macau on Wednesday (Aug 23), after smashing into Hong Kong with hurricane force winds and heavy rains. At least three people have died and two are missing in Macau.

The three included a 30-year-old man who was hit by a falling wall, a 45-year-old mainland Chinese tourist who was in a hit-and-run traffic accident and a 62-year-old man who fell from height, according to an announcement by Macau's Civil Defence Centre, reported by the Macau Daily.

Four people went missing at Fai Chi Kei residential area on Wednesday morning, and two of them were later rescued, the South China Morning Post said.

Severe flooding in the gambling enclave of Macau saw people swimming in the streets.

Power has been out since about noon due to serious floods in the electric service facilities.

The Venetian mega-casino was running on back-up power but without air conditioning, said one source with knowledge of the situation.

 
 

Several luxury hotels told the Post that they had stopped checking in guests and would not take any reservations until further notice, as they had run out of backup power.

A Wynn Hotel Macau staff member told the Post: "All our systems broke down. We do not have electricity and water. We won't hurry our guests to check out even though some of them might have passed the check-out hours. They should stay with us and stay safe as the weather is really bad."

Macau's telecommunications sector has launched a contingency plan that includes three-hour backup power.

Still, Macau residents took to social media to complain about the city-wide power and mobile phone network outages.

"The electricity was out, and the mobile network was down," resident Brian Chan, 31, told AFP.

The government confirmed power had gone down in Macau and outlying islands. Water supply was also limited, the authorities said.

Residents and thousands of tourists were increasingly worried that water might be cut soon, the Post reported.

Some 50 flights were cancelled from the international airport of the former Portuguese colony.

The storm also made landfall in southern China's Guangdong province, in Zhuhai city, adjacent to Macau, China's official Xinhua state news agency reported.

Numerous flights and trains were cancelled in Guangdong province, with Shenzhen's International Airport particularly badly hit, Reuters reported.

Thousands of residents along the Chinese coast were evacuated and fishing vessels were called back to port.