A children’s playground at Heng Fa Chuen is left under water after Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong, 16 September 2018. Photo: Winson Wong / SCMP

17 September, 2018 (SCMP) – The most intense storm in Hong Kong’s history caused a record storm surge, uprooted some 1,500 trees, and left hundreds of windows smashed all over the city, officials said on Monday.

As the long process of recovering from Typhoon Mangkhut began in earnest, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu called the damage “serious and extensive”, and said the number of calls for help, or reports of injury, was as much as five times higher than when Typhoon Hato battered Hong Kong in August last year.

The Hong Kong Observatory said the intensity of the storm, which required a typhoon signal No 10 to stay in place for 10 hours, was the most powerful since records began in 1946.

“The initial analysis showed that, throughout the life cycle of Mangkhut, the maximum sustained winds near the centre once reached 250 kilometres per hour,” Li Ping-wah, a senior science officer, said.

The Observatory’s track information showed the record-breaking wind speed was recorded at 2am on Saturday, when Mangkhut had made landfall in the northern Luzon region of the Philippines. [...]

There were record levels of storm surge too, with flood waters reaching their highest levels since 1904, according to the city’s forecaster.

Boats pushed ashore by Typhoon Mangkhut’s strong waves in Sai Kung, 16 September 2018. Photo: May Tse / SCMP

According to the latest figures, the maximum storm surges recorded at Quarry Bay and Tai Po Kau were 2.35 metres and 3.38 metres respectively, higher than the 1.77m surge bought by Typhoon Wanda in 1962 to Quarry Bay, and the 3.23m surge in Tai Po Kau under Typhoon Hope in 1979.

As the storm made its destructive way across Hong Kong, the No 10 signal remained in place between 9.40am and 7.40pm on Sunday, only one hour shorter than the record set by Typhoon York, which ravaged the city for 11 hours in September 1999. [more]

Typhoon Mangkhut officially Hong Kong’s most intense storm since records began

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