A second tropical storm in days has swept into southern China, bringing heavy rain and strong wind to Hong Kong and Macau as the region reels from the strongest typhoon in decades that left at least 22 dead.
Severe Tropical Storm Pakhar made landfall west of the Chinese casino hub of Macau in the early morning of Sunday.
It packed maximum sustained winds of 90km per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 106kph.
Earlier in the day, forecasters in Hong Kong and Macau raised a storm signal two notches below the maximum, forcing the city to mostly shut down.
By late afternoon, the two cities lowered their signal to No.3.
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Ferry operators halted services and airlines delayed or canceled some flights.
A spokesperson from Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said about 300 flights were cancelled or delayed on Sunday.
Cathay Pacific, the city’s flagship carrier, said “cancellations and significant delays” were expected to continue into Monday.
No serious damage has been observed in Hong Kong so far. The government said it has received 13 reports of flooding and 159 reports of fallen trees.
In Macau, authorities issued fresh flooding alerts as shops that were affected on Wednesday remained closed on Sunday morning, and traffic lights stayed blacked out after Hato disrupted power supply to the city.
“This is tough, but there is nothing we can do,” said Leung Chin-pang, the owner of a maintenance shop, who has been left without water supply since the first storm hit.
On Wednesday, Typhoon Hato left a trail of devastation as it swept through the region, killing at least 22 people, including 10 in Macau and 12 more on mainland China.
The storm’s toll in Macau angered residents, who complained of the government’s slow response.
The city’s chief weather officer was forced to resign because of the criticism.
Power has been restored in the territory but some areas still lacked water supply as of Saturday evening, the Macau Government Information Bureau said on its official website.
The government said the city still faced a severe challenge in removing huge piles of waste from the streets, with 2,600 tonnes of debris collected on Saturday alone.
In an unprecedented move, soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army left their barracks to help residents and crews clean up the mess.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies