Clean up begins after super typhoon lashes China

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‘Super typhoon’ nears Hong Kong and China after pummeling Philippines

Clean-up efforts were under way on Monday, a day after the world's biggest storm of the year made landfall in southern China and pummelled Hong Kong and Macau.

The storm killed another four people in China, where Mangkhut weakened to a tropical storm as it churned inland Monday.

Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong before striking mainland China on Sunday, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 49 people in the Philippines and ripping a swath of destruction through its agricultural heartland.

The city was on a signal 10 alert - the highest level - for most of Sunday.

Work has been suspended at more than 29,000 construction sites and 632 tourist spots have been closed.

Philippine and Chinese authorities said the death toll from a typhoon has risen to at least 69 with dozens missing.

Most of those were recorded in the Philippines, where a national police report said the death toll as of Monday midday was 65, with 43 people missing and 64 injured.

Almost half a million people were evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province, on China's southern coast, where Typhoon Mangkhut was expected to make landfall later Sunday afternoon.

Secretary for Security John Lee Ka Chiu said at a briefing on Monday afternoon that the damage caused by Mangkhut was "serious and extensive".

Mangkhut, named after the Thai word for mangosteen, was a super typhoon first when it slammed into the Philippines before weakening slightly into a severe typhoon as it tore into Hong Kong on Saturday night and kept up its relentless onslaught throughout Sunday.

The storm made landfall in the Guangdong city of Taishan at 5 p.m., packing wind speeds of 162 kilometers (100 miles) per hour. And more than 2.4 million people were relocated, according to the AP.

Emergency workers navigated the roads on jet skis and dinghies, rescuing trapped residents.

A man walks past uprooted trees on a damaged street after Typhoon Mangkhut hit Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China September 17, 2018.

Macau has been cautious this time, with officials saying it shut casino gambling operations late on Saturday and China's People's Liberation Army on standby for any disaster relief assistance. Dozens of residents sought shelter there during the storm Saturday despite warnings it was unsafe.

Mangkhut has now been downgraded to a severe typhoon, having approached the coast as a Category 5 storm - the strongest possible - with winds of up to 269km/h.

The typhoon was occurring as tropical weather also was devastating the southern U.S. Florence has dumped historical levels of rain on North Carolina.

Lohas Park, a residential estate in the district, saw the windows of many of its units shattered by Mangkhut's strong winds, leaving the flats in a great mess.

Francis Tolentino, a political adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, told the BBC he estimated only a fifth of produce there had been harvested in advance - threatening staples like rice and corn.

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