Hong Kong residents huddled indoors Sunday as strong wind sent debris flying ahead of the arrival of Typhoon Mangkhut, once the world’s strongest storm this year before it weakened after slamming into the Philippines.
The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) raised the storm signal to T10 — the highest level possible — Sunday morning local time, as the storm continues to carve a destructive path from the Philippines toward mainland China.
Fierce winds have already torn off roofs and caused partial building collapses in Hong Kong, as authorities warned of the threat of storm surges and flooding from torrential rain. The city is almost entirely shut down.
Mangkhut is currently packing sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (103 miles per hour), with gusts up to 205 kilometers per hour (127 miles per hour).
It’s now some 100 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong, and heading for the surrounding Pearl River Delta, home to 120 million people, according to the HKO.
The storm is expected to be one for Hong Kong’s record books. It’s only the 15th time in the last 60 years that a T10 has been hoisted; the last was for Super Typhoon Hato last year.