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The typhoon struck at the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in the Philippines' northern breadbasket, prompting farmers to scramble to save what they could of their crops, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said.

Police Superintendent Pelita Tacio said rescuers pulled out seven bodies from the huge mound of mud and rocks on September 16-She said they were scrambling to pull out the body of another victim before she left the area.

"It's very sad. I could hear villagers wailing in their homes near the site of the accident", Tacio said by phone.

That's more powerful than the maximum sustained winds of 150 kph (90 mph) when Hurricane Florence roared into North Carolina in the United States on Friday.

In the region's coastal cities of Beihai, Qinzhou and Fangchenggang, over 8,000 fishing boats have returned to port, and schools will close on Monday.

The Hong Kong Observatory said although Mangkhut had weakened slightly, its extensive, intense rainbands were bringing heavy downfall and frequent squalls.

Videos and images coming in from Hong Kong and nearby Shenzhen, China, show how destructive the storm is.

Typhoon Mangkhut hit the Philippines with gale force winds of 200 kph on Saturday, unleashing widespread devastation in which at least 40 people have been killed so far.

Hong Kong's famed Victoria Harbor was also hit with a storm surge of more than 3.9 meters (12.8 feet) above chart datum on Sunday.

The typhoon slammed the coast of Jiangmen city in southern China's Guangdong province on Sunday evening packing winds up to 162 km per hour.

People walk through floodwaters
People walk through floodwaters caused by Typhoon Mangkhut on the waterfront in Hong Kong on Sept. 16 2018

Boats were thrown onto the shore by powerful waves and the vast rainfall has brought fears of landslides, although none have yet been reported in Hong Kong.

Almost half a million people were evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province, the gambling enclave of Macau closed down casinos for the first time and the Hong Kong Observatory told people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour, where storm surges battered the waterfront reinforced with sandbags.

Authorities in southern China had issued a red alert, the most severe warning, as the national meteorological center said the densely populated region would face a "severe test caused by wind and rain".

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) said all of its flights would be canceled between 2:30am yesterday and 4am today.

About 228,000 people have been relocated in the region, and 98 flights were cancelled in Nanning, the region's capital city, as of 7 p.m. on Sunday. All high-speed and some normal rail services in Guangdong and Hainan provinces were also halted, the China Railway Guangzhou Group Co. said.

In the Philippines, rescuers for the Itogon landslide were hampered by rain and mud. In China, all flights at Guangzhou International Airport were canceled from midday Sunday through Monday morning.

The death toll in the Philippines, where the main island of Luzon was mauled with fierce winds and rain, rose to 65 overnight as rescuers pulled more bodies from a ill-prepared landslide in the mountain town of Itogon. The disaster has already left five people injured in Macao, according to local media.

The Philippines appeared to have been spared the high number of casualties many had feared.

Although the typhoon has now passed over the Philippines, police said that 45 people, mostly gold miners - are still missing and feared to have been trapped or killed by the landslides.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people.

WHAT'S HAPPENING: Tree falling in Florence kills mom, baby
Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore. Cline said July was the wettest ever in that part of North Carolina, and the water table rose 21 inches higher than normal.



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