Typhoon Saola moved along the southern Chinese coast on Saturday after uprooting trees and causing multiple damage to the city of Hong Kong, which spared a direct hit from one of the region’s strongest storms in decades.
Tens of millions of people in this densely populated area around the Pearl River Delta had locked themselves in their homes on the eve of the arrival of the cyclone, then classified as a super typhoon, the AFP news agency said.
In Hong Kong, authorities issued the highest level alert for typhoons for several hours, which has been activated only 16 times since World War II, with some areas registering gusts of up to 210 km/h at their strongest.
However, this morning, the cyclone was downgraded to a severe typhoon once it passed the international financial center, en route to other coastal areas of mainland China, so far causing no casualties and less damage than the powerful Mangkhut of 2018.
Even so, the authorities asked to maintain vigilance in the face of sustained winds of 145 km / h in the center of the cyclone, violent storms and rising sea levels.
On the streets of Hong Kong, AFP journalists saw numerous fallen trees, scattered scaffolding and broken windows. Local media said the winds ripped solar panels off the roofs of the buildings.
“Yesterday was a bit scary,” Angelie said this morning as she left to see a friend despite the heavy and persistent rain.
“In our urbanization, there were many fallen trees and some broken windows,” the woman explained to the AF agency.
Tommy Wang, a shopkeeper, remembers hearing the violent wind whistle as he slept in his small shop in the Causeway Bay shopping district.
“I did not leave the store because the transport did not work. I had no other option,” he said.
The storm’s passage did not wreak as much havoc as Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018, which injured more than 300 people in this city and killed six on mainland China.