Hong Kong is struggling to get back on its feet and facing more days of uncertainty ahead after the monster storm that mauled the city over the weekend left more than 1,000 sections of road blocked by trees or flood debris.
More than three million people have been moved to safety in southern China as Typhoon Mangkhut moved northward and continued to wreak havoc across the region.
Mangkhut made landfall in Guangdong, China’s most populous province, late afternoon Sunday, killing four people before heading west into neighboring Guangxi province around midnight.
The decision to evacuate towns and cities in southern China came as Hong Kong was left reeling by ferocious winds of up to 173 kilometers per hour (107 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 223 kph (138 mph).
The storm tore off roofs and scaffolding from skyscrapers, shattered windows, shook high-rise buildings and caused serious flooding in low-lying areas as waves of more than three meters (9.8 feet) lashed the coast.
Across the Pearl River Delta in the gambling hub of Macau, hundreds of households were left without power amid extensive flooding, which reached head-height in places close to the shoreline.
Though Hong Kong managed to avoid the same fate as the Philippines, where at least 54 people are believed to have died in the storm, damage to the city was extensive.
Residential towers in the neighborhood were without water and electricity. Four large tanks of clean water had been provided for residents to bring up, but with the elevators out of service they needed to carry them up stairs, as high up as 22 floors above ground level.
On Monday morning, the suspension of rail and bus services due to fallen trees and other debris forced thousands of workers onto the city’s subway network. The result was chaotic scenes as large crowds packed onto platforms, creating long lines of up to 45 minutes in some stations.
On Monday, the cleanup was well underway, with workers spraying disinfectant on bags of trash piled up by cleaning crews working around the clock, assisted by hundreds of volunteers from local organizations.
The country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, is due to make an official visit to the affected region, state media PNA reported.
He urged rescue and relief teams to ensure that normalcy was restored “as soon as possible,” directing an immediate start to rehabilitation and repair projects in the areas hardest hit by the storm.