Typhoon pounds south China after killing 64 in Philippines

HONG KONG (AP) — Typhoon Mangkhut barreled into southern China on Sunday, killing two people after lashing the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain that left at least 64 dead and dozens more feared buried in a landslide.

More than 2.4 million people had been evacuated in southern China's Guangdong province by Sunday evening to flee the massive typhoon and nearly 50,000 fishing boats were called back to port, state media reported.

Hong Kong's RTHK broadcaster cited experts as saying Mangkhut was expected to be the strongest typhoon to hit the city in decades. The Hong Kong Observatory issued its strongest storm warning for 10 hours on Sunday, just slightly shorter than the record time of 11 hours set by Typhoon York in 1999, the South China Morning Post reported.

RELATED: Typhoon Mangkhut barrels toward China after lashing the Philippines

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Typhoon Mangkhut barrels toward China after lashing Philippines
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Typhoon Mangkhut barrels toward China after lashing Philippines
Collapsed bamboo scaffolding is seen on a street during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents walk through the rain during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Collapsed bamboo scaffolding is seen hanging from a building during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
A pigeon shelters in an abandoned building during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
A building with damaged scaffolding is seen during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
A pedestrian uses a plastic poncho during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
A pedestrian walks past fallen branches during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman uses her umbrella as she walks past collapsed bamboo scaffolding hanging from a building during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Collapsed bamboo scaffolding is seen hanging from a building during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
HONG KONG, HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 16: A man walks on a highway on September 16, 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. City officials raised the storm alert to T10, it's highest level,as Typhoon Mangkhut landed on Hong Kong. The strongest tropical storm of the season so far with winds as fast as 200 kilometres per hour, Mangkhut has reportedly killed at least 25 people in the Philippines as it continues it's path towards southern China. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
HONG KONG, HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 16: A man carrying a woman cross a flooded road on September 16, 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. City officials raised the storm alert to T10, it's highest level,as Typhoon Mangkhut landed on Hong Kong. The strongest tropical storm of the season so far with winds as fast as 200 kilometres per hour, Mangkhut has reportedly killed at least 25 people in the Philippines as it continues it's path towards southern China. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
HONG KONG, HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 16: Windows of commercial building damaged by typhoon on September 16, 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. City officials raised the storm alert to T10, it's highest level,as Typhoon Mangkhut landed on Hong Kong. The strongest tropical storm of the season so far with winds as fast as 200 kilometres per hour, Mangkhut has reportedly killed at least 25 people in the Philippines as it continues it's path towards southern China. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
HONG KONG, HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 16: Rooftop of a apartment damaged by typhoon on September 16, 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. City officials raised the storm alert to T10, it's highest level,as Typhoon Mangkhut landed on Hong Kong. The strongest tropical storm of the season so far with winds as fast as 200 kilometres per hour, Mangkhut has reportedly killed at least 25 people in the Philippines as it continues it's path towards southern China. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
Families and relatives of miners move to safer grounds after massive landslides triggered by Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Itogon town, Benguet province on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by JJ LANDINGIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read JJ LANDINGIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Families and relatives of miners move to safer grounds after massive landslides triggered by Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Itogon town, Benguet province on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by JJ LANDINGIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read JJ LANDINGIN/AFP/Getty Images)
GUANGZHOU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 16: Employees put tape on the window at a mall as Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in Guangdong Province on September 16, 2018 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China. Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in Guangdong on Sunday, according to China's National Meteorological Center. (Photo by Ma Qiang/Southern Metropolis Daily/VCG via Getty Images)
GUANGZHOU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 16: Tapes are seen on the window at a mall as Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in Guangdong Province on September 16, 2018 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China. Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in Guangdong on Sunday, according to China's National Meteorological Center. (Photo by Ma Qiang/Southern Metropolis Daily/VCG via Getty Images)
A general view shows windows of a commercial building smashed during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo credit should read PHILIP FONG/AFP/Getty Images)
A general view shows windows of a commercial building smashed during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo credit should read PHILIP FONG/AFP/Getty Images)
A tricycle loaded with passengers commutes past farms in Alcala, Cagayan province on September 16, 2018, to Baggao town a day after Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit the area. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman dries belongings amongst the ruins of their house in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Alcala, Cagayan province on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
A farmer scoops rice grains which they dried after hastily harvesting them prior to the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Alcala, Cagayan province on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A taxi is abandoned in floodwaters during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. - Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong en route to mainland China on September 16, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 30 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
Cars sit in a flooded street during a No. 10 Hurricane Signal raised for Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut continued wreaking havoc, belting Hong Kong with mammoth gales and rain, as it moved along the coast of China's Guangdong province following its deadly visit through the Philippines. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man carries a boy as people walk on a wall in a flooded street during a No. 10 Hurricane Signal raised for Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut continued wreaking havoc, belting Hong Kong with mammoth gales and rain, as it moved along the coast of China's Guangdong province following its deadly visit through the Philippines. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man carries a woman through a flooded street during a No. 10 Hurricane Signal raised for Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut continued wreaking havoc, belting Hong Kong with mammoth gales and rain, as it moved along the coast of China's Guangdong province following its deadly visit through the Philippines. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man wades through flooded streets during a No. 10 Hurricane Signal raised for Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut continued wreaking havoc, belting Hong Kong with mammoth gales and rain, as it moved along the coast of China's Guangdong province following its deadly visit through the Philippines. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Petrol station employees close the station and put protection over the pumps ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A man runs near flooded streets during a No. 10 Hurricane Signal raised for Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut continued wreaking havoc, belting Hong Kong with mammoth gales and rain, as it moved along the coast of China's Guangdong province following its deadly visit through the Philippines. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People walk on a wall in a flooded street opposite Evangel College during a No. 10 Hurricane Signal raised for Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Typhoon Mangkhut continued wreaking havoc, belting Hong Kong with mammoth gales and rain, as it moved along the coast of China's Guangdong province following its deadly visit through the Philippines. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker puts up a sign to say that the fast food restaurant will be closed ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A family stand in their home ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman stands outside a closed residential gate ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A security guard runs past a closed shop ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A security guard stands inside a closed shopping mall ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A closed shopping mall is seen ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A bar is sealed off ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
Petrol station employees close the station and put protection over the pumps ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
Hotel workers stand next to a sand bag wall to seal off a parking lot ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman crosses a street during strong winds and rain ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A man runs across a road during strong winds ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
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In Guangdong, the storm killed two people a few hours after making landfall on Sunday evening and was triggering storm surges as high as 3 meters (10 feet), state broadcaster CCTV said.

Fifteen people were injured in the nearby gambling enclave of Macau, which closed casinos for the first time. The Hong Kong Observatory warned people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour landmark, where storm surges battered the sandbag-reinforced waterfront.

In Hong Kong, a video posted online by residents showed the top corner of an old building break and fall off, while in another video, a tall building swayed as strong winds blew.

The storm shattered glass windows on commercial skyscrapers in the city, sending sheets of paper pouring out of the buildings, fluttering and spiraling as they headed for the debris-strewn ground, according to several videos posted on social media.

The storm also felled trees, tore bamboo scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded some areas of Hong Kong with waist-high waters, according to the South China Morning Post.

The paper said the heavy rains brought storm surges of 3 meters (10 feet) around Hong Kong.

The storm made landfall in the Guangdong city of Taishan at 5 p.m., packing wind speeds of 162 kilometers (100 miles) per hour. State television broadcaster CGTN reported that surging waves flooded a seaside hotel in the city of Shenzhen.

Groceries flew off the shelves of supermarkets in the provincial capital of Guangzhou as residents stocked up in anticipation of being confined at home by the typhoon, China's official Xinhua News Agency said.

Authorities in southern China issued a red alert, the most severe warning, as the national meteorological center said the densely populated region would face a "severe test caused by wind and rain" and urged officials to prepare for possible disasters.

Hundreds of flights were canceled. All high-speed and some normal rail services in Guangdong and Hainan provinces were also halted, the China Railway Guangzhou Group Co. said.

Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents to prepare for the worst.

"Because Mangkhut will bring winds and rains of extraordinary speeds, scope and severity, our preparation and response efforts will be greater than in the past," Lee said. "Each department must have a sense of crisis, make a comprehensive assessment and plan, and prepare for the worst."

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific said all of its flights would be canceled between 2:30 a.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday. The city of Shenzhen also canceled all flights between Sunday and early Monday morning. Hainan Airlines canceled 234 flights in the cities of Haikou, Sanya, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai scheduled over the weekend.

In Macau, next door to Hong Kong, casinos were ordered to close from 11 p.m. Saturday, the first time such action was taken in the city, the South China Morning Post reported. Macau suffered catastrophic flooding during Typhoon Hato last year, leading to accusations of corruption and incompetence at its meteorological office.

In Macau's inner harbor district, the water level reached 1.5 meters (5 feet) on Sunday and was expected to rise further. The district was one of the most affected by floods from Typhoon Hato, which left 10 people dead.

In the northern Philippines, Mangkhut made landfall Saturday on the northeastern tip of Luzon island with sustained winds of 205 kilometers (127 miles) per hour and gusts of 255 kph (158 mph).

Dozens of people, mostly small-scale miners and their families, were feared to have been trapped by a landslide in the far-flung village of Ucab in Itogon town in the northern mountain province of Benguet, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan told The Associated Press by phone.

Palangdan said three villagers who nearly got buried by the huge pile of mud and rocks told authorities they saw residents rush into an old three-story building, a former mining bunkhouse that has been transformed into a chapel, at the height of the typhoon's onslaught Saturday afternoon.

"That was not an authorized evacuation center," Palangdan said, but expressed sadness that the villagers, many of them poor miners, had few options to survive in a region where big corporations have profited immensely from gold mines.

"They were laughing off the police and disaster-response personnel who were warning them. They thought they were really safe there," he said.

Police Superintendent Pelita Tacio said 34 villagers had died and 36 remained missing in the landslides in Ucab and another village in Itogon town. Rescuers were scrambling to pull out the body of a victim from the mound of mud and rocks in Ucab before Tacio left the area Sunday.

"It's very sad. I could hear villagers wailing in their homes near the site of the accident," Tacio said by phone.

Rescuers were hampered by rain and mud, and the search and rescue operation was suspended at nightfall and will resume at daybreak Monday, Palangdan said. Police and their vehicles could not immediately reach the landslide-hit area because the ground was unstable and soaked from the heavy rains, regional police chief Rolando Nana told the ABS-CBN TV network.

Overall, at least 64 people have died in typhoon incidents in the northern Philippines, mostly from landslides and collapsed houses, according to the national police. Forty-five other people were missing and 33 were injured in the storm.

The hardest-hit area was Benguet, where 38 people died, mostly in the two landslides in Itogon, and 37 are missing, the police said.

Other deaths wrought by the storm elsewhere included a couple and their children who refused to evacuate from their house, which later got buried by a landslide in Nueva Vizcaya province. Four people died in northeastern Cagayan province, where the typhoon made landfall.

Still, the Philippines appeared to have been spared the high number of casualties many had feared. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, flattened villages and displaced more than 5 million in the central Philippines. A massive evacuation ahead of Mangkhut helped lessen potential casualties, with about 87,000 people evacuating from high-risk areas, officials said.

The typhoon struck at the start of the rice and corn harvesting season in the Philippines' northern breadbasket, prompting farmers to scramble to save what they could of their crops, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said.

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Gomez reported from Manila, Philippines. Associated Press writers Aaron Favila and Joeal Calupitan in Tuguegarao, Philippines, and Gillian Wong in Beijing contributed to this report.

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