A view from a residential unit in the Pac On area, in Taipa (Photo by MDT reader)
The Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) says that Mangkhut is currently located about 110 kilometers south-southeast of Macau – just outside of the critical 100-kilometer range which it is expected to breach shortly. The SMG warns that local winds are likely to strengthen in the coming hours.
The red storm surge warning is still in force and there is severe flooding in the Inner Harbor area. Wailing sirens are warning residents of low-lying areas who have not yet evacuated to move to higher ground immediately.
Macau braced for impact this morning as super typhoon Mangkhut approached the southern Guangdong coastline bringing torrents of rain and wind.
The super typhoon, dubbed the strongest storm of 2018 and formerly equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic, warranted the hoisting of Macau’s highest warning signal at 11 a.m. this morning and the unprecedented evacuation last night of more than a thousand people from low-lying parts of the city.
Chief Executive Chui Sai On said that so far over 5,800 have been evacuated from low-lying areas. However, a total of 69 residents from 26 households have refused to leave.
As of 12:30 p.m. some 1,063 were taking refuge at one of the city’s 16 government shelters, managed by the Social Affairs Bureau.
As of noon today, the Civil Protection Committee had recorded a total of 62 incidents, including 8 trees felled, five instances of falling scaffolding from construction sites and 41 instances of dropping materials from other buildings, including glass from shattered windows.
All ferry connections from Macau were suspended this morning and approximately 255 vessels were moored ahead of the storm, according to the Marine and Water Bureau. Hundreds of flights in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong Province have been cancelled.
Macau’s three bridges were also closed today, leaving the Sai Van bridge tunnel as the only link between the peninsula and the islands.
According to a Macau police chief, five people were detained by authorities at 10:20 a.m. after they were caught trying to jump the barricade blocking access to the Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge. The civil protection authority said that the behavior of the detained persons may constitute an illegal act.
All water treatment plants are operating normally at the latest reports, with four water tanks holding an “abundant” reserve.
After ripping through the northern Philippines earlier this weekend, the storm has slightly subsided in its approach to the Pearl River Delta area. It is now classified by the Hong Kong weather authority as a severe typhoon and the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane.
[Updated at 13:40 p.m., Sunday with comments from the Chief Executive]