Second storm hits Hong Kong and Macau amid typhoon recovery

People use umbrellas during heavy rain as severe tropical storm Pakhar passes over Macau on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 27 August 2017
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Second storm hits Hong Kong and Macau amid typhoon recovery

HONG KONG: 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 canceled 50 flights on Sunday morning and are expecting more delays and cancelations.
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 kilometers (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 neighboring 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.


Student gunman kills 17 at Crimea college

Updated 24 min 17 sec ago
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Student gunman kills 17 at Crimea college

  • The attacker Vladislav Roslyakov was caught on security cameras entering the college with a rifle and firing at students
  • Russian officials at first reported a gas explosion, then said an explosive device ripped through the college canteen

MOSCOW: A student attacked a vocational college Wednesday in Crimea in a rampage that killed 18 other students and left more than 40 people wounded, before killing himself.
The attack took place at the Kerch Polytechnic College in the Black Sea city of Kerch.
Sergei Aksyonov, the regional leader in Crimea, said on television that the student, a local man acting alone, killed himself after the attack.
Russian officials at first reported a gas explosion, then said an explosive device ripped through the college canteen about lunchtime in a suspected terrorist attack. But witnesses, however, reported that at least some of the victims were killed in an attack by a gunman or gunmen.
The Investigative Committee identified the attacker as Vladislav Roslyakov, 18. It said he was caught on security cameras entering the college with a rifle and firing at students. The committee said all the victims have died of gunshot wounds.
After the attack, local officials declared a state of emergency on the Black Sea peninsula that they had annexed from Ukraine in 2014. They also beefed up security at a new 19-kilometer bridge that links the peninsula with Russia that opened earlier this year.
Military units were deployed around the college.
Earlier, Russia’s Investigative Committee, the nation’s top investigative agency, said an explosive device that went off at the college’s canteen was rigged with shrapnel. It was not immediately clear if the alleged attacker had detonated the explosive device.
Sergei Melikov, a deputy chief of the Russian National Guard, said the explosive device was homemade. Explosives experts were inspecting the college building for other possible bombs, according to Anti-Terrorism Committee spokesman Andrei Przhezdomsky.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that officials are looking into a possible terrorist attack. He did not elaborate. Peskov said Putin has instructed investigators and intelligence agencies to conduct a thorough probe and offered condolences to the families of the victims.
Witnesses did not speak of an explosion but said one or more armed men attacked the school.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted student Semyon Gavrilov, who said he fell asleep during a lecture and woke up to the sound of shooting. He said he looked out and saw a young man with a rifle shooting at people.
“I locked the door, hoping he wouldn’t hear me,” the paper quoted Gavrilov as saying.
He said police arrived about 10 minutes later to evacuate people from the college and he saw dead bodies on the floor and charred walls, presumably from some fire or explosion.
Another student, Yuri Kerpek, told the state RIA Novosti news agency that the shooting went on for about 15 minutes.
Olga Grebennikova, director of the vocational college, told KerchNet TV that men armed with automatic rifles burst into the college and “killed everyone they saw.” Grebennikova, who said she had left the grounds shortly before the attack occurred, said students and staff were among victims.
Russia’s Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova headed to the area to help coordinate assistance to the wounded and helicopters carrying emergency medical teams flew to the area.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine triggered Western sanctions. Russia has also supported separatists fighting the Ukrainian government in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has left at least 10,000 people dead since 2014.
Over the past few years, Russian security agencies have arrested several Ukrainians accused of plotting terror attacks in Crimea, but no attacks have occurred.