The biggest storm in the world this year has touched down in the Chinese province of Guangdong, after wreaking havoc in Hong Kong and Macao and killing more than 50 people in the Philippines.
With winds of more than 200 km / h, the tropical cyclone Mangkhut is considered the strongest in the region this year, equivalent to an "intense hurricane" category 5 in the Atlantic.
That is more powerful than the maximum sustained winds of 150km / h when Hurricane Florence roared in North Carolina in the United States on Friday.
The typhoon, nicknamed the "King of Storms" by the Chinese media, made landfall in the city of Haiyan at 5:00 p.m. M. Local time, with winds over 160 kph, meteorological officials said.
Ports, oil refineries and industrial plants in the area have been closed. Power in some areas was also reduced as a precaution. In Shenzhen, the electricity supply to more than 130,000 homes was reduced by one point on Sunday.
The storm has fueled concerns about sugar production in Guangdong, which accounts for one-tenth of national production, at around 1 million tonnes. China's sugar futures rose last week on fears about the cane crop.
Guangdong is also the most populous province in China, with a population of more than 100 million.
The airport in the booming city of Shenzhen has been closed since midnight and will remain closed until 8:00 a.m. (2400 GMT) Monday. The flights have been canceled in Guangzhou and in the neighboring province of Hainan.
Strong winds and swells also affected Fujian province in northern Guangdong, closing ports, suspending ferry services and canceling more than 100 flights. Waves of up to 7.3 meters (24 feet) were noted in the Taiwan Strait, Xinhua said.
The northwestern route of Mangkhut will bring heavy rains and winds to the Guangxi Autonomous Region early on Monday, before it weakens into a tropical depression to reach southwestern Yunnan the next day.
"Like being on a boat": Mangkhut whips Hong Kong
Earlier, the eye of Mangkhut, the Thai name for the mangosteen fruit of Southeast Asia, bordered 100 km south of Hong Kong, but the former British colony was still trapped in the whirlwinds of rain and hurricane winds of the typhoon.
In Hong Kong, meteorological authorities issued their maximum alert for the storm, which hit the city with gusts of more than 230 kilometers per hour and left more than 100 injured, according to government figures.
Jason Capobianco, an Australian filmmaker who lives in Hong Kong, said the residents stayed inside but could not completely escape the storm.
"Our building is like really being on a boat," he told SBS News, describing the situation in his apartment on the 23rd floor of a building.
"During the last few hours he has been going around, it was really crazy and he will continue like this until tonight."
Scope of damage in the Philippines assessed
The Philippines was beginning to count the cost of the typhoon, but police confirmed that at least 49 are dead, including a baby and a small child, after Mangkhut hit northern Luzon on Saturday.
In the city of Baggao demolished houses, tore roofs and demolished power lines. Some roads were cut by landslides and many were submerged.
SBS reporter Virginia Langeberg reports a trail of destruction in the Philippines
Farms in northern Luzon, which produce much of the nation's rice and corn, were sitting under muddy waters, their crops ruined just a month before harvest.
"We are already poor and then it happened to us, we have lost hope," Mary Anne Baril, 40, told AFP, whose corn and rice crops were in poor condition.
"We do not have other means to survive," he said through tears.
Almost five million people, almost a quarter of whom survive on a few dollars a day, live on the path of the storm.
An average of 20 typhoons and storms hit the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people.
The last victims were mostly people who died in landslides, including a family of four. In addition to the 30 murdered in the Philippines, a woman was dragged to the sea in Taiwan.
The most deadly storm in the Philippines is the Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing in the central part of the country in November 2013.
Floods in Hong Kong and Macao
In Hong Kong, waters increased at Hong Kong's famous Victoria Harbor and coastal fishing villages, of which hundreds of residents were evacuated to storm shelters.
Some roads were waist-deep in the water, with parts of the city cut off by floods and fallen trees on Sunday afternoon as the rains continued.
In the fishing village of Tai O, where many residents live on stilt houses built on the sea, some tried desperately to rescue their flooded houses.
"Floodwater is running into my house, but I'm drawing water continuously, it's a race against time," Lau King-cheung, Tai O resident, told AFP by telephone.
The government warned people to stay inside but some ventured to the coast to take pictures.
A couple and a boy were seen by an AFP reporter taking photos on a dock known as a popular Instagram place when waves rushed over him and almost submerged him.
Others stayed at home, but were terrified breaking windows in their apartments.
"The entire floor and the bed are covered in glass," a resident told TVB after the window in his room broke. "The wind is so strong."
In the neighboring gaming enclave of Macau, the 42 casinos closed on Saturday night and the companies closed their doors on Sunday morning, some boarded up and protected by piles of sandbags.
As the storm moved south beyond Macao, its streets submerged under the water that gushed from the harbor.
Rescuers navigated the roads on jetskis, rescuing residents trapped in their stores.
The government and the casinos took additional precautions after Macao was hit by Typhoon Hato last year, which left 12 dead.