(AFP via Channel NewsAsia and CNN) – Hong Kong: A powerful storm lashed Hong Kong and Macau today (August 27), just days after a punishing typhoon swept through southern China and claimed at least 18 lives.
Both cities raised a Typhoon 8 signal, the third-highest warning level, early this morning as severe Tropical Storm “Pakhar” made landfall in the region, where emergency workers are still battling to repair Wednesday’s damage.
Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon cancelled 50 flights this morning and are expecting more delays and cancellations.
All ferry services in Hong Kong were suspended.
Meanwhile the Thai Meteorological Department issued a warning today that Tropical Storm Pakhar has made landfall over Guangdong, China or latitude 22.2 degree North and longitude 112.7 degree East.
With sustained winds of 90 km/hr, the tropical storm is moving northwest about 35 km/hr and will decline to tropical depression and low-pressure system over southern China near the northern borders of Laos and upper Vietnam during August 28-29.
During its strength as low-pressure system, more rainfall with isolated heavy downfall affects the North and the Northeast of Thailand. Everyone is urged to stay tuned for weather updates.
In Hong Kong a typhoon 8 storm warning level would typically shut down its stock market, schools and businesses.
Pakhar – named after a freshwater fish in the lower Mekong river — smashed into southern China as worst-hit Macau was still picking up the pieces after Typhoon Hato.
Hato ripped through the gambling hub on Wednesday, plunging casinos into darkness and causing destructive floods.
The official death toll in Macau reached 10, as the enclave’s government faces recriminations over its lack of preparation.
A further eight people are known to have died from Typhoon Hato in the neighboring Chinese mainland province of Guangdong.
Hong Kong and Macau both raised the most severe Typhoon 10 warning last week, only the third time a storm of this power had pounded Hong Kong in the past 20 years.
In Macau, it was the strongest typhoon in 53 years, according to the city government.
Meanwhile CNN reported that the sprawling and soaked Houston metro area and other deluged towns in southeastern Texas braced for devastating floods and pummeling rainfall today as Tropical Storm Harvey drifted over land and drenched dogged searchers and anxious residents.
The second fatality in the ferocious storm occurred in the Houston area when a woman drove her vehicle into high water, city police said. Police said they believe the car became inoperable or the water was too high to pass through. The victim got out of her vehicle, was overtaken by water and drowned.
The death occurred amid dire warnings to the region’s residents.
A flash flood emergency was in effect for parts of the Houston area. The National Weather Service and local officials are advising Houston-area residents to avoid traveling. Three to four inches of rainfall were reported in the region in one hour’s time. The storm spawned tornadoes and lightning, with extensive damage reported.
“Stay put,” the National Weather Service said.
“It’s going to last four to five days,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who urged drivers to stay off the road. “This is Day One.”
“It’s not done yet. It’s going to rain all night long,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. “People are in danger tonight.”
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said via Twitter that many rescues were taking place overnight in the Houston area and requests were coming in for high-water rescues.
“Some involve children, others with medical issues. Trying to get to as many as possible,” Gonzalez said.
One rescue involved a hospital transport for someone who suffered a cardiac arrest. Several people were rescued from a vehicle on a highway.
“Our units are trying to get to everyone as soon as possible,” he said.
People are tweeting their locations and asking for help.
One person — whose mom is diabetic and dad has heart disease — said, “We need help!! My house is flooded.”
Top: Hong Kong and Macau raised a typhoon 8 signal, the third-highest warning level, early this morning as severe Tropical storm Pakhar made landfall, days after Typhoon Hato claimed at least 18 lives . Photo: AFP/Dale De La Rey via Channel News Asia
Inset: A damaged home sits amid a flood yesterday (August 26) after Hurricane Harvey slammed Rockport, Texas. Photo: CNN