1,200 Hong Kong flights cancelled as typhoon Mangkhut hits

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The hurricane force of Mangkhut has buildings swaying in Hong Kong, while horrified residents scamper for safer ground as high-rise windows are smashed by the supertyphoon on Sunday, after gaining in force over the South China Sea.

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Residents huddled indoors Sunday as strong wind sent debris flying as Typhoon Mangkhut arrived. 

Almost 1,2000 flights are now official cancelled, a number that had risen from the earlier figure of 900 flights cancelled before the typhoon smashed southern China.

Airlines and passengers over parts of Asia have been grounded as Typhoon Mangkhut arrives in Hong Kong and China’s Guangdong province.

Hong Kong Airport Authority announced the flight cancellations on Sunday because of the storm. The city’s Airport Express train and bus service have also been suspended.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said in a statement that it was expecting “severe disruptions”  and won’t resume operations until 4 am Monday.

The airline has canceled more than 400 flights. Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Airlines also grounded their fleets on Sunday.

Hong Kong International Airport said ferry services between the airport and all of the Pearl River Delta ports had been suspended until further notice.

AirAsia Group Bhd said service disruption was expected to continue through Monday. It canceled all flights to and from Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shantou, and axed 29 flights on Saturday.

Philippine Airlines Inc. is scrapping 10 international flights on Sunday.

Hong Kong issued its highest storm warning as the typhoon’s top winds declined to about 167 kilometers per hour (103 mph), from 195 kph earlier, according to the U.S. Navy and Air Force’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii.

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 towards 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.

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