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Typhoon Mangkhut weakens after reaching China, battering Philippines

By
Allen Cone
Rescuers, paramedics and volunteers conduct a search-and-retrieval operation to locate three missing people buried due to a landslide caused by typhoon Mangkhut at Balacbac, Baguio City, north of Manila, on Sunday. Photo by EPA
Rescuers, paramedics and volunteers conduct a search-and-retrieval operation to locate three missing people buried due to a landslide caused by typhoon Mangkhut at Balacbac, Baguio City, north of Manila, on Sunday. Photo by EPA

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Typhoon Magkhut weakened Sunday after making landfall in mainland China and Hong Kong, and earlier killing more than 50 in the Philippines.

Sunday night, Mangkhut was about 175 miles west of Hong Kong and forecast to weaken gradually and become a tropical storm, the Hong Kong Observatory said.

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The storm made landfall at 5 p.m. Sunday on the coast of Jiangmen City, south China's Guangdong Province, packing winds up to 100 miles per hour, according to the provincial meteorological station.

Although rainstorm warnings had been canceled, residents were advised about river flooding.

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In China, more than 2.45 million people were relocated and more than 48,000 fishing boats returned to ports in China's Guangdong province, according to Xinhua News Agency. Also, a 40,000-ton-category vessel with 73 people on board was blown off its anchoring at Huizhou port, China's Central Television reported.

In Hong Kong, all schools, including six universities, will be closed Monday. If the typhoon remains at No. 8 or higher, Hong Kong's stock trading will be canceled Monday.

Heavy winds and rains in Hong Kong blew out apartment building windows and toppled trees.

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At a construction site, a crane fell off a building at a construction site and no one was hurt, the Mingpao newspaper reported on its website.

Almost 900 flights were canceled in Hong Kong on Sunday, and bus and ferry services was suspended, the Hong Kong government said. Underground trains were are running at reduced intervals.

In China, all flights at Guangzhou International Airport were canceled from midday Sunday through Monday morning.

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In Taiwan, high waves caused one death, according to the island's government.

In the Philippines, the government officials reported Sunday that 54 people had died and 42 were missing in the strongest storm since Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 storm killed 6,000 people and left more than 4 million homeless.

Most of the deaths this time were due to landslides, mainly in the Cordillera Administrative Region, according to President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque.

Duterte inspected affected areas and pledged funds for recovery and later gave an update to residents on national television.

Around half of the more than 250,00 affected by the storm across the country sought shelter in evacuation centers in the country's north.

Food supply is sufficient, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said at the Cabinet meeting.

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Mangkhut made landfall in the Philippines at 1:40 a.m. Saturday in Cagayan province. The storm had winds of up to 165 mph as a Category 5.

Mangkut was named internationally after the Thai word for a fruit in Southeast Asia but is known in the Philippines as Ompong

Economic losses in Hong Kong and across China could reach $50 billion and $16 billion to $20 billion in the Philippines, said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler for Enki Research in Savannah, Ga., told Bloomberg.

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