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Monster Mangkhut: The Aftermath of Hong Kong's Most Powerful Typhoon

By Sophie Pettit 17 September 2018
The No 8 warning signal finally downgraded to No 3 this morning as the most powerful typhoon on record to ever hit Hong Kong – Mangkhut – finally left the city.

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Numerous dramatic videos were flying around social media (excuse the pun) on Sunday 16, showing scenes of destruction caused by the ferocious monster typhoon, which left hundreds of windows shattered, trees uprooted, scaffolding in pieces, roads severely flooded, and many poor unfortunate souls without a home. Here's a recap of the harrowing footage captured by Hong Kongers during the 10-hour ordeal in which winds reached a maximum speed of 195km/h as they tore through the city.

Scenes of Destruction

It was reported that over 20 neighbourhoods were submerged in waist-deep water, while residents in the fishing village of Tai O on Lantau were evacuated to safety. Meanwhile, power lines were disrupted across the city, particularly in the northern New Territories in Yuen Long and Sai Kung.

Many commercial buildings suffered a severe blow, with windows being blown out of their frames, including the Harbour Grand Kowloon hotel and the 25-floor-high One Harbourfront building in Hung Hom.

One video taken by a resident in Tai Kok Tsui showed a crane from a nearby apartment block under construction falling down to the ground, while another showed part of an old residential building in Tai Kok Tsui collapsing. Meanwhile, one city dweller captured the scene of a metal ceiling of a refuge collection hut in Sau Mau Ping being completely blown away. Despite these harrowing scenes which resemble something from a disaster movie, Hong Kong managed to avoid serious casualties. More than 200 people were treated at hospitals during the storm, but the main damage is to the city itself, which now faces a long and difficult road to recovery following extensive flooding, building collapse, and travel disruption across all forms of public transport, including the cancellation of nearly 900 flights.

Picking Up the Pieces

So far, there have been nearly 200 reports of fallen trees, leading to several lanes being closed around the Lion Rock and Shing Mun tunnels, while Aberdeen Tunnel is partially shut due to flooding. Bus companies have announced that they will continue to suspend most of their services, while ferry and rail operators say their services will not resume in full, due to serious damage found at several piers and on overhead MTR lines.

As a precaution, all schools will remain closed on Monday, while several universities have also cancelled their classes due to extensive damage and blocked roads.

As the Airport Authority prepares to spend a couple of days clearing the backlog of cancelled flights, the rest of the city will be picking up the pieces of what will be remembered as the most powerful typhoon to ever hit Hong Kong. And, as always, the monster decided to strike the city on a Sunday, meaning that for most of us, it's back to our desks this Monday morning. Typical!
Read more! See What's On in Hong Kong.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.