Hong Kong picks itself up after typhoon Mangkhut. Chaos in public transport with 600 blocked roads
by Paul Wang

Uprooted trees block the streets; slow underground; canceled bus routes. The subway stations invaded beyond belief. Skyscrapers that tremble; broken glass; 900 flights canceled. All Sunday Masses anticipated to Saturday afternoons. Temporary blackouts in the New Territories. In Macau some center streets flooded. 17 wounded.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The chaos in public transport is the biggest wound inflicted on Hong Kong after the passage of the powerful typhoon Mangkhut, which throughout the day yesterday lashed the territory. Over 600 roads are blocked due to uprooted trees that make transport impossible; most of the bus services are stationary; many ferry routes - connecting the islands - and the subway (Mtr) have been canceled.

This morning, since there were no buses, people poured into the MTR and some stations were invaded to beyond capacity (photo 1). At Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan, Tai Wai and Tai Po stations, people had to wait for almost an hour to get a train.

"Now everything is quiet - says Joseph - but yesterday, when the typhoon was on our heads, it was scary".

Mangkhut, one of the most powerful typhoons that has ever hit the territory, has immobilized the city all day yesterday, forcing people to stay at home for at least 10 hours, while the warning signal was at its maximum (No. 10) . Due to the wind force that reached 195 km / h, some skyscrapers trembled; at Hung Hom, the wind shattered glass windows in a commercial building (photo 2), lifting paper and office supplies into the air; the streets were blocked due to uprooted trees. In anticipation of the typhoon, the diocese of Hong Kong anticipated all Sunday masses on Saturday afternoons.

The storm caused a rise in sea level; at Tsim Sha Tsui, the commercial area on the Kowloon peninsula, the waves were up to four meters high (photo 3). The Aberdeen tunnel was flooded and has been partially closed. At the airport, hundreds of passengers were stranded because about 900 flights were canceled. The airport authorities said this morning that it will take at least two days to get things back to normal.

Some power lines have been hit and at least 40 thousand customers have suffered temporary blackouts, especially in the New Territories. Because of irregular power supplies, autonomous generators have been used in hospitals, but today the situation is normal. About 200 people were hospitalized for treatment between yesterday and today.

Because of the difficulty to reach workplaces, social network users ponder why the government does not proclaim a day off. Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of the Executive Council, explained in an interview that "the government has no power to intrude on contracts between employers and employees" and that there is no law that the government could exempt people from going to work.

In neighboring Macao, at least 20 thousand families have no electricity; the casinos remained closed; some main roads near the port are unusable. At least 17 people were injured.

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