Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Typhoon toll in Philippines reaches 81

Typhoon toll in Philippines reaches 81

A man and a girl battle strong winds from Typhoon Mangkhut on a pier on Victoria Habour in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Business interruption is also likely to be a factor in the eventual market loss, given Hong Kong's productivity was severely dented on Monday and clean-up could take a number of days before everything gets back to normal in the city.

A mudslide has buried dozens of people on the Philippine island of Luzon, after Typhoon Mangkhut's powerful sweep.

Numerous losses were suffered in the town of Itogon in the Philippines' mountainous northern province of Benguet, where 34 villagers died and 36 remained missing Monday.

Mayor Victorio Palangdan of Itogon town in Benguet province, among the worst-hit by the typhoon that struck on Saturday, said at a news conference that of the 40 to 50 people thought buried, there's a "99 per cent [chance] that they really are all dead". Three villagers who managed to escape told authorities what happened.

"They laughed at our policemen", he said. He expressed sadness that the villagers, many of them poor, had few options to survive in a region where big corporations have profited immensely from gold mines.

"I really feel sad, I can not describe the emotion", he said. About 291,000 were forced to flee their homes as the storm tore across the island of Luzon, an agricultural area in the archipelago's far north, with winds gusting up to 158 miles per hour, equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.

Emergency workers were delivering truckloads of food and water to Wilmington as helicopters and boats pulled people from homes swamped by swollen rivers.

Philippine Consul General to Hong Kong Antonio Morales said on Monday that two Filipinos sustained minor injuries while at least 37 others were rescued as Typhoon "Mangkhut" or "Ompong" pounded the former British colony after devastating the Philippines.

High-rise buildings swayed from the wind.

Hong Kong had issued its highest typhoon warning and the storm caused severe air and land transport disruptions.

The Hong Kong Observatory said Mangkhut would bring heavy downfall and frequent squalls, despite the storm weakening slightly.

Casinos on Macau were ordered closed for the first time due to the typhoon.

It was one of the worst calamities to hit the disaster-prone Philippines this year and refocused attention on a persistent dilemma: What to do about the large number of poor who live and work on or near steep mountains, volcanoes, quake faults and storm-vulnerable coastlines out of desperation? Hong Kong attracts tourists in large numbers and flights to the resort island of Hainan were cancelled. The city of Shenzhen also canceled all flights between Sunday and early Monday morning. While the rain had stopped, rising temperatures hampered rescue efforts.

Because the landslide destroyed roads going into the area, no heavy equipment has been able to reach the site.

Overall, at least 64 people have died in typhoon-related incidents in the northern Philippines, mostly from landslides and collapsed houses, according to the national police.

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