Typhoon Mangkhut moves to China as the Philippines toll rises

Resident Elizabeth Tzouganatos stands in front of her home of 20 years, which was destroyed in a landslide.

The massive storm, considered the largest in the world this year, has already left large areas of the island of Luzon in the Philippines under water, as its fierce winds ripped trees from the ground and rains triggered dozens of landslides.

In Hong Kong, meteorological authorities issued the maximum alert for the storm, which shook the city with fierce gusts that reportedly reached 232 kilometers per hour.

When the storm passed south of Hong Kong, the trees split in half and the roads were blocked, while the windows and walls of the tower blocks and skyscrapers were broken.

The Philippines was just beginning to count the cost of the typhoon, but authorities confirmed that at least 25 died when it crashed into Luzon on Saturday.

In the northern city of Baggao, the storm collapsed houses, tore roofs and knocked down power lines. Some roads were cut by landslides and many were submerged.

The Luzon farms, which produce a large portion 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 this (storm) has passed, we have lost hope," Mary Anne Baril, 40, told AFP, whose corn and rice crops were spoiled.

"We do not have other means to survive," he said through tears.

More than 105,000 people fled their homes in the largely rural region.

& # 39; High threat & # 39; for Hong Kong

An average of 20 typhoons and storms hit the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

The dead included many dead in landslides, a girl who drowned and a security guard crushed by a falling wall. In addition to the 25 murdered in the Philippines, a woman was dragged to the sea in Taiwan.

The most lethal storm in the country recorded is the Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing in the center of the Philippines in November 2013.

Water levels at the famous Victoria Harbor and fishing villages in Hong Kong could increase by up to four meters, authorities said earlier, and hundreds of residents were evacuated to storm shelters, as the observatory predicted severe flooding for low-lying areas. .

The strong wind caused by Typhoon Mangkhut is seen on the waterfront of Victoria Habour Hong Kong.

AAP

The stained glass windows were closed with duct tape and the streets that were normally blocked by traffic were deserted as the storm approached.

The government has warned people to stay inside, but some were walking through the park or along the waterfront on Sunday morning.

"I was running this morning, I love the fresh air and there is no one in the streets, no cars, on normal days we can not see this," said Hao Chen, 28, who lives in the Tin Hau neighborhood of Hong . Kong Island.

Some residents reported that their buildings were swaying in the wind and that the parks were already littered with broken branches early in the morning.

Resident Antony Kwok in the fishing village of Tai O said that the flood shields and ladders had been installed to protect those living in stilt houses in the area as the waters began to rise, in a publication on Facebook Live.

Almost all flights in and out of Hong Kong have been canceled.

In the neighboring gambling enclave of Macau, the 42 casinos closed late on Saturday night and businesses closed on Sunday morning, some boarded up and protected by piles of sandbags.

The streets in parts of Macao were underwater when a storm surge sent water from the bay into the city.

The government and the casinos are taking additional precautions after Macau was hit by Typhoon Hato last year, which left 12 dead.

Preparations were under way on the south coast of China, including Yangjiang, which is not usually affected by the big typhoons and where the 2.4 million inhabitants of the city were preparing for a direct attack.

Further down the coast, preparations were also under way in Zhanjiang, where some villagers feared the worst.

"I could not sleep last night, I saw the typhoon on TV and how intense it was," said Chan Yau Lok, 55.