China

Typhoon Hato: Twelve killed as storm sweeps south China

A woman uses her phone while wearing a plastic poncho along Victoria Harbour during heavy winds and rain brought on by Typhoon Hato in Hong Kong on 23 August 2017. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The typhoon brought Hong Kong to a standstill with many businesses staying closed

A powerful storm has swept across southern China, leaving 12 dead and hundreds of people injured.

Typhoon Hato made landfall at noon on Wednesday near Zhuhai city in Guangdong province, bringing with it strong winds and lashing rain.

Hong Kong raised its typhoon warning signal to 10, the highest level. The territory and nearby Macau were brought to a standstill.

The storm caused widespread flooding, blackouts and destruction.

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Media captionWeather authorities raised the hurricane threat to 10, the highest level, for the first time in five years

Chinese state media said nearly 27,000 people on the mainland were evacuated.

Authorities have issued alerts for landslides, flooding and other geological disasters, reported Xinhua.

Hong Kong 's meteorological authority said Hato had maximum winds of up to 175kph (109mph).

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Image caption Huge waves were churned up at Zhuhai in Guangdong province

Eight people were killed in Macau, while four were reported dead in mainland China. Another person remains unaccounted for, according to local media.

Businesses, schools, train stations and airports were forced to shut on Wednesday, with only one aeroplane managing to land at Hong Kong's normally busy airport, the South China Morning Post reported.

The storm is estimated to have cost the global financial centre up to HK$8bn (£800m; $1bn).

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Image caption The storm flooded streets in Hong Kong and Macau
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Pavements in Hong Kong were covered with street rubbish and debris swept in by the storm
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Several people died in Macau and there was some destruction
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Cars and other vehicles in Macau were displaced by powerful winds

Hato, which means "pigeon" in Japanese, is still making its way westwards inland but is losing power, according to Hong Kong authorities.

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