A strong typhoon struck the coast of China on Wednesday, bringing massive winds and flooding to the cities of Macau and Hong Kong.
Twelve people were killed when Typhoon Hato hit southern China. Eight people died in the gaming mecca and former Portuguese colony of Macau, according to a spokeswoman for the government.
Among the dead were a 62-year-old man died in a fall; a 45-year-old man was hit and killed by a car; and a wall crashed into a 30-year-old man.
Meanwhile in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, four people were reported dead so far according to Chinese state media Xinhua.
The storm made landfall Wednesday morning and caused widespread power outages throughout Macau, according to local media.
“Some places still don’t have electricity,” Cheryl Lum, communications director for the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Macau, told CNN.
Hato initially was a midgrade tropical storm but quickly strengthened into a typhoon, according to CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.
More than 60 million people are in the storm’s path, he said.
The Hong Kong Observatory, the city’s weather service, declared a Signal 10 Tropical Cyclone Warning — the highest-level storm alert — early Wednesday. It’s the first time in five years the city has had a T-10 typhoon, though the warning has since been downgraded.
However, gale-force winds could still affect the city, said Lee Tsz Cheung, senior scientific officer at the Hong Kong Observatory.
Hong Kong was hit with massive swells and flooding — the storm struck during high tide — and many trees were uprooted in the city’s coastal regions. Most businesses were closed, as was the financial hub’s stock market.
A high water level of 3.7 meters (more than 12 feet) was recorded in the fishing village of Tai O, the observatory said. Winds as fast as 77 kilometers per hour (48 mph) with maximum gusts of 127 kilometers per hour (79 mph) were recorded on the island of Lantau, where the Hong Kong International Airport is located.
Some 450 flights had been canceled as of Wednesday morning, an airport official said.