Second storm hits Hong Kong and Macau amid typhoon recovery

Hong Kong (AFP) –


A powerful storm lashed Hong Kong and Macau on Sunday, just days after a punishing typhoon swept through southern China and claimed at least 18 lives.

Both cities raised a Typhoon 8 signal, the third-highest warning level, early Sunday morning as severe tropical storm "Pakhar" made landfall in the region, where emergency workers are still battling to repair Wednesday's damage.

Hong Kong's flagship carrier Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon cancelled 50 flights on Sunday morning and are expecting more delays and cancellations.

All ferry services in Hong Kong were suspended.

The Typhoon 8 storm warning level would typically shut down Hong Kong's stock market, schools and businesses.

Packing winds of up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour, Pakhar -- named after a freshwater fish in the lower Mekong river -- smashed into southern China as worst-hit Macau was still picking up the pieces after Typhoon Hato.

Hato ripped through the gambling hub Wednesday, plunging casinos into darkness and causing destructive floods.

The official death toll in Macau reached 10, as the enclave's government faces recriminations over its lack of preparation.

A further eight people are known to have died from Typhoon Hato in the neighbouring Chinese mainland province of Guangdong.

Hong Kong and Macau both raised the most severe Typhoon 10 warning last week, only the third time a storm of this power had pounded Hong Kong in the past 20 years.

In Macau, it was the strongest typhoon in 53 years, according to the city government.

Pakhar, which also brought occasional heavy rain, is expected to persist for most of Sunday morning, moving toward the Pearl River Estuary, the Hong Kong Observatory said.

Summer is typhoon season for Hong Kong, which can experience storms of such severity that the entire city shuts down.