Almost half a million people were evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province, the gambling enclave of Macau closed down casinos for the first time and the Hong Kong Observatory told people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour, where storm surges battered the waterfront reinforced with sandbags.
Super typhoon Mangkhut, with hurricane-force winds well over 200 kilometres per hour (124 miles/h), had barrelled past the northern tip of the Philippines, killing at least 50 people.
More than 2.52 million people have been relocated, and over 48,000 fishing boats called back to port in the province as of 6 p.m. on Sunday.
In Hong Kong, more than a hundred people were injured and the global airport was closed for several hours.
"Southern regions including the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan will be hit by gales and storms on Sunday and Monday", the National Meteorological Center told China's official Xinhua news agency.
Around 900 flights were cancelled yesterday, leaving passengers stranded at the airport. High-speed-rail services were suspended in Guangdong and Hainan provinces. However, there were no reported deaths in Hong Kong, a city well prepared for tropical cyclones.
The death toll in the Philippines, where the main island of Luzon was mauled with fierce winds and rain, rose to 65 overnight as rescuers pulled more bodies from a huge landslide in the mountain town of Itogon.
The area was one of the most affected by floods from Typhoon Hato, which left 10 people dead past year.
A giant wave strikes the coast during Typhoon Mangkhut, Hong Kong, Sept. 16, 2018, in this still image obtained from a social media video.
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Fifteen people were injured in the nearby gambling enclave of Macau, which closed casinos for the first time.
Images have revealed collapsed building scaffolding and trees bending in the strong winds across Guangdong province. In China, all flights at Guangzhou International Airport were canceled from midday Sunday through Monday morning.
The government and casinos took extra measures ahead of the storm, determined to avoid a repeat of Typhoon Hato which battered Macau a year ago, killing 12 people and drawing accusations the city was ill-prepared.
In Macau's inner harbor district yesterday, the water level reached 1.5m and was expected to rise further. Authorities and residents say they had learned from that experience, and that residents were quicker and more willing to evacuate to shelters.
"I thought my child wouldn't survive because cars could not move outside", said this woman in the Philippines. Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said that at the height of the typhoon's onslaught Saturday afternoon, dozens of people, mostly miners and their families, rushed into an old three-story building in the village of Ucab.
A police officer said rescuers couldn't access the area on Saturday because the ground was unstable. About 87, 000 people were evacuated.
Still, the Philippines appeared to have been spared the high number of casualties many had feared.
The Philippines said on Monday a total of 250,730 tons of paddy rice has been lost due to the strong typhoon that hit the northern provinces over the weekend, according to initial estimates.
As of Saturday, the storm had caused 51 landslides in the Philippines' north. Search crews are looking for people reported missing in the mountainous Cordillera region, Political Affairs Secretary Francis Tolentino said.
In the city's inner harbor district, the water level reached 1.5 meters (5 feet) on Sunday and was expected to rise further. At the moment, Mangkhut is positioned 62 miles west of Hong Kong, but high winds are still able to make a full impact.
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It will continue to move northward over cooler waters and gradually weaken over the weekend. At this time no tropical storm/hurricane watches or warnings are in effect for Barbados.
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