Eight killed, many missing, after Typhoon Hato hits Macau
On Thursday one of the strongest typhoons on record barreled into the southern Chinese territory of Macau left at least nine people dead and many are still missing with rescuers searching submerged cars for trapped people.
Since 1968 Typhoon Hato, a maximum signal 10 storm was the strongest to hit the world’s biggest gambling hub Macau’s government broadcaster TDM told. Macau is home to around 600,000 people.
One civil servant told “The city looks like it was just in a war”. He declined to give his name as they are not allowed to speak to any media correspondents.
Former Portuguese colony residents grappling with the aftermath said Macau was woefully unprepared for Hato. Its destructive winds of more than 200 kmh (124 mph) didn’t leave any chance for unprepared Macau to stand.
Halting financial trading, uprooting trees, flooding streets and flooding streets Hato on Wednesday hit the nearby financial hub of Hong Kong forcing hundreds of airline flights to be canceled. There were reports of 34 people injured in Hong Kong, which had not been hit by a signal 10 typhoon for five years.
At one stage as Hato intensified, Hong Kong posted a category 8 storm warning, saying it was likely to go higher, yet Macau’s government rated Hato only a signal 3 typhoon.
“I am shocked with the late notice and lack of preparation that was given for this superstorm. Residents are in peril and unable to assess if help is on the way,” said Ashley Sutherland-Winch, a marketing consultant in Macau.