Typhoon Hato Disrupts Port Operations in Hong Kong
Hong Kong's port authority suspended all operations on Wednesday as Typhoon Hato struck the city with high winds and heavy rains. No vessels were permitted to enter the port, and ferry services to Macau and to Hong Kong's outlying islands were canceled. A popular passenger service to Zhuhai in mainland China was suspended indefinitely due to storm damage to a terminal.
Hong Kong weather officials raised a "Number 10" warning in anticipation of the storm's arrival, the highest level. Conditions were extreme: video from the port shows container stacks toppled by the wind in the storage yards.
In addition to the disruption at the port, the general cargo vessel Uha 1 was driven aground in the residential community of Discovery Bay, forcing the crew to abandon ship and swim to shore (above). Unconfirmed reports indicate that several vessels in waters near Hong Kong required SAR assistance from Chinese authorities.
Widespread flooding and dozens of injuries were reported in Hong Kong, but no fatalities. As of Thursday, 16 people were reported dead in nearby Macau, where winds and flooding damaged much of the city center. Extensive damage was also reported in Vietnam's Lao Cai province and in China's Guangdong province. Chinese authorities evacuated 4,000 people in the vicinity of Zhuhai in anticipation of the storm's arrival, and safety officials recalled hundreds of fishing boats to harbor.