A second tropical storm in days swept into southern China on Sunday, lashing Hong Kong and Macau with heavy rain and strong wind as the region reels from the strongest typhoon in decades that left at least 22 dead.
Six people went missing after houses collapsed in a flood caused by heavy rain on Friday in Yanjin county.
Tropical Cyclone Pakhar will be closest to Hong Kong “in the next few hours” and is expected to land to the west of the Pearl River Estuary around midday local time, the city’s weather observatory said in a statement issued at 5:45 a.m. Sunday.
Macao has also been struck by Hato and Pakhar.
The maximum sustained winds recorded at Cheung Chau and Chek Lap Kok were 114 and 76 kilometers per hour, respectively, in the morning, with maximum gusts at 136 and 101 kmh.
An orange typhoon warning has been issued for both Shenzhen and Guangzhou in anticipation of Typhoon Pakhar’s arrival later this morning, while Zhuhai has released a red warning – the highest in the mainland’s typhoon alert system.
Hato on Wednesday caused at least 450 flights to be canceled or delayed in Hong Kong, and forced the closure of schools and trading at the stock exchange.
Forecasters in Hong Kong and Macau raised a storm signal two notches below the maximum, forcing the city to mostly shut down.
In Macau, the storm will pose a major setback to clean-up efforts that saw Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops deployed to help remove mountains of stinking debris strewn across some heavily flooded districts battered by Hato. Although parts of Macau still remain without electricity or traffic lights, officials explained that the city’s water supply had been restored as of yesterday. Shower facilities and changing rooms at four public swimming pools have been opened to accommodate residents with no water facilities.
What is clear however is that Hongkongers can expect another weekend of poor weather due to the storm, according to the Hong Kong Observatory. Police chief Ma Io-kun told a press conference on Saturday he was not aware of the case, but said the government respects press freedom “very much”.