Dramatic images and video continue to tell the story of super typhoon Mangkhut’s impact on Hong Kong, as the storm — as of 3:30pm — was skirting just 100 kilometers south of the city, bringing severe winds, lashing rain and rising flood waters.
In the past few hours, the Observatory noted maximum sustained wind speeds of up to 170 kilometers per hour, which were recorded at Tate’s Cairn, where gusts reached a mind-boggling 223 kilometers per hour.
According to a government statement, the emergency call center has so far received 76 reports of fallen trees, while the Drainage Services Department has received five confirmed flooding cases.
According to the Hospital Authority, as at 2pm, a total of 111 people, including 60 men and 51 women, have sought medical treatment at public hospitals during the typhoon period.
Shots posted on social media show downed trees, smashed windows, and buildings and streets strewn with debris.
In one clip shared to an incident report group on Facebook by Joey Kwok, diners watch as a tree is ripped out by its roots on the Ping Lai path in Kwai Chung.
The observatory has warned people to stay indoors. Staying awake from windows is also advised. A kindergarten teacher living in Lai Chi Kok had to be taken to hospital with a leg injury after an air conditioning unit crashed into her bedroom window and flew into her apartment.
According to Apple Daily, the teacher surnamed Lee was injured by the rogue air conditioner at around 12:45pm this afternoon when she was in her bedroom with her husband and their 5-year-old daughter.
The newspaper reports that the pair called for an ambulance 21 times in 30 minutes as they were initially unable to get through. She was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital for treatment.
As well as dangerous wind gusts, heavy rain, massive swells and storm surges have also inundated several areas.
Under the influence of storm surge, the water level at Victoria Harbour has reached about 3.5 meters above normal levels, while the level at Tolo Harbour is 4.5 meters above the norm.
A high water level of about 3.8 meters or more above chart datum is expected at Tai O between 2 and 6pm today, writes the observatory.
Videos of flooding have been circulating across social media.
User Sam Chung shared this footage from Sai Kung’s Hoi Pong Square, near the local seafood restaurants.
Another user named Farina Cheung, meanwhile, shared footage from a security camera showing the ground floor of a building in Heng Fa Chuen.
On Twitter, Will Davies posted a clip of high water levels in Kennedy Town, where the pier known as an Instagram hotspot was close to being submerged.
High water levels in kennedy town now, instagram pier close to being submerged pic.twitter.com/R2LEkyMEBu
— Will Davies (@WillMHDavies) September 16, 2018
Over in Mui Wo, user Chan Chung Lok captured flood waters gushing into the bus terminus close to the pier.
From Aberdeen, Facebook user Kent Full posted photos of the wreckage of small vessels moored in the marina.
There was a lucky escape for people who had thoughtlessly gone to Ma On Shan promenade (below) as the storm closed in around 11am.
An eyewitness named Andrew told Apple Daily that he spotted three men on the promenade from his apartment block in Ma On Shan at about 12 pm.
As the sea level started rising, Andrew told the newspaper that they managed to get off the promenade before most of it was submerged.
時間: 12:00 地點: 馬鞍山 #烏溪沙碼頭 事件: 圖中兩條友為咗睇浪，被圍困家陣等人救…
Facebook user Dennis Tsoi captured the scene out The Wings apartment complex in Tseung Kwan O.
Flood waters also rose quickly in Sha Tin, as can be seen in this clip shared by Jackie Hui on Facebook.
Facebook user Andy Lam shared shots of cars, including one seemingly unfortunate motorist who had broken down, on Tuen Mun highway.
更新15:00已清場14:30屯門公路 深井段入屯門方向大量積水 如滑浪飛船暫時快慢線2車死火經過請注意。小心
The Observatory warned of “phenomenal swells.” Here’s one picture (below) that captured the strong backwash slamming into the embankment in Heng Fa Chuen in Chai Wan.
Another worrying picture, courtesy of FB user Donna Shaw, shows what appears to be a large makeshift shelving unit blown precipitously close to the edge of a high rise building.
The MTR Corporation is providing limited services. Tram, Peak Tram and ferry services were suspended. On air traffic, the Airport Authority Hong Kong reported that a total of 889 flights have been cancelled today.
The Home Affairs Department has so far opened 48 temporary shelters in various districts and 745 people have sought refuge at the shelters.
Buildings have been seen swaying, like in this clip shared widely on social media and uploaded to YouTube.