A powerful typhoon has hit Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, killing at least 10 people in gambling enclave Macau, one person in Hong Kong and forcing offices and schools to close.
Typhoon Hato – named after the Japanese word for pigeon – came within approximately 37 miles of Hong Kong on the morning of August 23. It has presented Hong Kong airport with some of the worst weather the airport has had to withstand since its opening in 1998.
Airlines cancelled at least 450 flights to and from Hong Kong airport. however, one brave KLM pilot managed to land in the risky conditions.
With winds reaching 78 miles/hour, KLM flight 887 originating in Amsterdam, landed at 10:33am north of the typhoon’s eye against all odds. A Cathay Pacific Airways pilot has been quoted as saying these wind speeds would be in excess of the landing limits at the airport.
Hato has moved west toward mainland China, making landfall at noon local time, in the Guangdong province. Thousands of residents were evacuated from the region prior to Hato’s arrival, local news agencies are reporting.
Hato’s extreme winds caused excessive damage to skyscrapers, with shattered windows showering the streets with glass and trees brought down on already flood-damaged streets.
— RIM Post (@RIM_Post) August 23, 2017
Hong Kong weather authorities raised the number 10 hurricane signal for the first time in five years. The last time was in 2012, for Typhoon Vicente.
The Hong Kong Observatory warned of destructive winds, flooding and possible landslides. Waves of up to 10m high are predicted in the South China Sea.