Industry insured losses from Typhoon Mangkhut in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau will be between US$1 billion and US$2 billion, according to catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide.
After making landfall in the Philippines, Typhoon Mangkhut doused a less densely populated agricultural area of Luzon with 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain, with some regions receiving 700 mm (27 inches) of rain on Sept. 15. By the time it had crossed Luzon into the South China Sea later that day, Mangkhut had weakened to the intensity of a Category 3 storm.
“The storm continued northwestward across the South China Sea over Sunday, Sept. 16, with wind speeds of about 160 km/h (100 mph),” said Dr. Peter Sousounis, vice president and director of meteorology of Boston-based AIR Worldwide, a subsidiary of Verisk.
“As it moved toward landfall in mainland China, Mangkhut bypassed Hong Kong and Macau,” he added. “The center of the typhoon passed 130 km west of Hong Kong and 70 km west of Macau, both of which felts its effects due to a massive wind field. Hurricane-force winds extended 160 km from its center and tropical storm force winds extended 510 km from its center. Storm surge was as high as 3.38 meters in Tai Po Kau, Hong Kong.”
Mangkhut maintained its wind speed and made landfall in Taishan, Guangdong Province, China, at around 08:00 UTC (4 p.m. local time) on Sept. 16 as a Category 3 hurricane, bringing heavy rain and strong wind to the province before weakening to a tropical storm and moving farther inland, AIR said.
Record-breaking storm surges were recorded at Quarry Bay and at Tai Po Kau of 2.35 meters (7.7 feet) and 3.38 meters (11.1 feet) , respectively, surpassing the previous records of 1.77 meters (5.8 feet) in Quarry Bay from Typhoon Wanda in 1962 and 3.23 meters (10.6 feet) at Tai Po Kau from Typhoon Hope in 1979. Heavy precipitation brought waist-high flooding to some areas, inundating buildings, the modeling company continued.
AIR noted that glass windows on commercial skyscrapers in Hong Kong were shattered and contents were damaged, while hundreds of windows were smashed across the city. The storm tore off roofs, downed trees, toppled signs, and produced wind-borne debris.
In the resort city of Macau, the largest gambling hub in the world, all casinos were ordered to close for the first time ever. Power was cut to about 20,000 households in low-lying areas and the inner harbor. Extensive flooding impacted the area, rising above head height in some locations and damaging buildings and contents.
Along the coast of southern China, strong winds caused high rises to sway and blew out windows. Heavy precipitation and storm surge flooded coastal hotels and businesses; thousands of vehicles also suffered flood damage.
Source: AIR Worldwide
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