Typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong and southern China

The most powerful typhoon to hit the southern Chinese region in more than half a century left at least 16 dead as a sudden deluge swamped the gambling hub of Macau, submerging streets and stranding residents.

Macau, which is surrounded by water, is vulnerable to high tides and has few options for draining storm runoff. The territory took almost a direct hit from the storm as it churned toward mainland China.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said eight more people were killed in Guangdong and one person remained missing. Typhoon Hato roared into the area Wednesday with winds of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour. It weakened into a tropical storm Thursday as it moved farther west inland.

Xinhua said almost 27,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters, while extensive damage to farmland due to the heavy rain and high tides was also reported. Almost 2 million households lost power temporarily, while fishing boats were called back to port and train services and flights suspended, Xinhua said.

“Compared to other typhoons, Hato moved fast, quickly grew more powerful and caused massive amounts of rainfall,” Wu Zhifang, chief weather forecaster at the Guangdong meteorological bureau, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

By Thursday, a weaker Hato was moving into China’s Guangxi region.

Flooding and injuries were also reported in Hong Kong, which lies across the water 64 kilometers (40 miles) from Macau, but there were no reports of deaths. Hato’s fierce gales blew out windows on skyscrapers in the Asian financial capital, raining shattered glass onto the eerily quiet streets below. Hong Kong’s weather authorities had raised the hurricane signal to the highest level for the first time in five years.  (AP)

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Dongguan, Guangdong province, China

People walk through a flooded street as Typhoon Hato hits Dongguan, Guangdong province, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Macau

A fireman (C) is seen next to a fire truck in a cordoned off residential area in Macau on Aug.24, 2017, a day after Typhoon Hato hit the city. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Macau

Residents queue up for water from a fire hydrant on a pavement in Macau on Aug. 24, 2017, a day after Typhoon Hato hit the city causing power outages and a water shortage. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Macau

A man looks out from inside an apartment where some windows have been broken by typhoon Hato in Macau, China, Aug. 24, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Macau

A vehicle damaged by Typhoon Hato is seen in Macau, China, Aug. 24, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Macau

Tourists from China lineup outside a jewelry shop where a tree was uprooted by strong winds from Typhoon Hato in Macau, China, Aug. 24, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China

Debris is left on road after typhoon Hato lands in Zhuhai on August 23, 2017 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Macau

A general view shows casino hotels and some broken windows of the Paradise Kam Pek Casino (R) in Macau on Aug. 24, 2017, a day after Typhoon Hato hit the territory. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Macau

Workers clear water and damaged goods from a convenience store in Macau on Aug. 24, 2017. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China

Debris is left on road after typhoon Hato lands in Zhuhai on Aug. 23, 2017 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Macau

A vehicle is seen floating on the sea after Typhoon Hato hits Macau, China, Aug. 24, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Hong Kong

Police deal with a damaged light board as typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong on Aug. 23, 2017 in Hong Kong. (Photo: Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)

Hong Kong

A man holds onto a lamp post against strong wind as Typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Shenzhen, China

A man walks among tree branches broken by strong winds brought by Typhoon Hato in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Hong Kong

A man walks through a flooded street as Typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong, China, Aug.23, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, south China on aug. 23, 2017. Hato, the 13th typhoon to hit China this year, made landfall in the city of Zhuhai in southern China’s Guangdong Province at noon Wednesday. Influenced by outer rainband of Hato, strong wind and rain affected Hong Kong and a tropical cyclone warning was issued by Hong Kong Observatory. (Xinhua/Wang Shen via Getty Images)

Guangzhou, China

A woman carries her pet in the flooding caused by Typhoon Hato and the astronomical tide on Aug. 23, 2017 in Guangzhou, China. (Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Images/Getty Images)

Hong Kong

Waves triggered by Typhoon Hato are seen in Hong Kong, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Zhuhai, China

A yacht is swept from the sea onto land in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Lu Hanxin/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Macau, China

Firefighters and pedestrian pass by debris after the passage of Typhoon Hato in Macau, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Antonio Mil-Homens/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)

Hong Kong

Debris caused by Typhoon Hato damage is strewn across the waterfront of Victoria Habour in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Vincent Yu/AP)

Hong Kong

A flooded street is seen outside a McDonalds restaurant as Typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Shenzhen, China

Frontier soldiers carry sand bags after typhoon Hato landed on Aug. 23, 2017 in Shenzhen, Guangzhou Province of China. (Photo: VCG via Getty Images)

Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China

A man runs in strong wind brought by typhoon Hato on Aug. 23, 2017 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo: VCG via Getty Images)

Shenzhen, China

Photo taken on Aug. 23, 2017 shows broken trees in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province. (Photo: Mao Siqian/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Hong Kong

A woman stands beside a big wave on a waterfront Typhoon Hato hitting in Hong Kong, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Hong Kong

A flooded playground is seen after Typhoon Hato hits Hong Kong, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Hong Kong

Two taxis have their back windows knocked out by falling windows from an office building in Causeway Bay as Typhoon Hato hits land in Hong Kong causing a signal 10 Tropical cyclone on Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Jayne Russell via ZUMA Wire)

Zhuhai, China

A toll booth is damaged by typhoon Hato in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Lu Hanxin/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Hong Kong

A fallen tree caused by typhoon Hato lies at a street in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Vincent Yu/AP)

Hong Kong

A man shields himself with his plastic poncho during heavy winds and rain brought on by Typhoon Hato in Hong Kong on Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Zhuhai, China

A car is swept away from road in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Lu Hanxin/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Hong Kong

Pavement on the waterfront in Central Hong Kong are displaced as Typhoon Hato hits land in Hong Kong causing a signal 10 Tropical cyclone on Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Jayne Russell via ZUMA Wire)

Macau, China

A fallen tree after the passage of Typhoon Hato in Macau, China, 23 Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Antonio Mil-Homens/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)

Hong Kong

People react as Typhoon Hato hitting in Hong Kong, China, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Hong Kong

People play with strong wind caused by Typhoon Hato on the waterfront of Victoria Habour in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Photo: Vincent Yu/AP)