A natural disaster in Asia has left about 16 people dead and several others injured with economic activities grounded for the safety of people.
Authorities in Macau categorised it as a force 3 storm until just hours before it hit, but Typhoon Hato was the fiercest storm seen on the Chinese Territory since 1968, its winds of up to 200 km/h more than justifying its category 10 status.
At least 16 people were killed and many more are still missing as rescuers search vehicles that were submerged in the floods that resulted from the typhoon.
Eight died in the gambling hub of Macau, where local media showed cars underwater and people swimming along what are normally streets. The enclave’s famed mega-casinos were running on backup generators.
A man was killed after being injured by a wall that blew down, another fell from a fourth floor terrace and one was hit by a truck. Locals report sheets of glass flying through the air, and severe damage to water supplies, as the gale forces battered luxury apartments in the gambling hub.
Ashley Sutherland-Winch, a marketing consultant based in Macau said “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”.
Business as usual?
Some high-end casinos on the Cotai strip attempted to carry on as usual even as their facades were being ripped off. Many were forced to resort to using back-up generators. It is not yet clear what the impact on gambling revenues will be.
Nolan Ledarney, director of Hong Kong-based food website, Crafted 852, who was staying in the Galaxy casino, reported that guests in the Galaxy casino report had been marshalled into a safe area of the complex.
In contrast to Macau, in Hong Kong, schools and offices were closed, and ferries and flights cancelled, as the territory battened down the hatches.
Hato has also hit Guangdong province on the Chinese mainland, where it is reported to have destroyed hundreds of homes and caused further casualties.
As it makes its way overland, however, it is expected to weaken.