Super typhoon slams into China after pummelling Philippines

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A resident walks beside a toppled basketball court after Typhoon Mangkhut barreled across Tuguegarao city, northeastern Philippines, on Sept. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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An overturned tricycle is seen next to a destroyed house after Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit the town of Alcala, Cagayan province on September 15, 2018. (AFP / TED ALJIBE)
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Residents stand by a flooded road following the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut in Tuguegarao city in Cagayan province, northeastern Philippines, on Sept. 15, 2018.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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People buy water and food at a supermarket ahead of the arrival of the Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Zhanjiang in Guangdong province on September 15, 2018. (AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI)
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A dog and a duck sit among the ruins of a house after Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit the town of Alcala, Cagayan province, in the northern Philippines on September 15, 2018. (AFP / TED ALJIBE)
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Fishermen take their boat of the water with a crane ahead of the arrival of the Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Sanhe village on the outskirts of Zhanjiang in Guangdong province, China, on September 15, 2018. ( AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI)
Updated 16 September 2018
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Super typhoon slams into China after pummelling Philippines

  • More than 105,000 people fled their homes in the largely rural agricultural region, which is one of the Philippines' top producers of corn and rice
  • Cathay Pacific warned travelers that it expected more than 400 flight cancelations over the next three days

TUGUEGARAO, Philippines: Typhoon Mangkhut rocked Hong Kong before striking mainland China on Sunday, injuring scores and sending skyscrapers swaying, after killing at least 49 people in the Philippines and ripping a swathe of destruction through its agricultural heartland.

The world's biggest storm this year left large expanses in the north of the main Philippine island of Luzon underwater as fierce winds tore trees from the ground and rain unleashed dozens of landslides.

It made landfall on the coast of Jiangmen city, in southern China's Guangdong province, Sunday evening after battering Hong Kong.

Hong Kong weather authorities issued their maximum alert for the storm, which hit the city with gusts of more than 230 kilometres per hour (142 mph) and left over 100 injured, according to government figures.

As the storm passed south of Hong Kong, trees were snapped in half and roads blocked, while some windows in tower blocks were smashed and skyscrapers swayed, as they are designed to do in intense gales.

The Philippines was just beginning to count the cost of the typhoon which hit northern Luzon on Saturday, and the death toll jumped to 49 on Sunday evening as more landslide victims were discovered.

In the town of Baggao the typhoon demolished houses, tore off roofs and downed power lines. Some roads were cut off by landslides and many remained submerged.

Farms across northern Luzon, which produces much of the nation's rice and corn, were sitting under muddy floodwater, their crops ruined just a month before harvest.

"We're already poor and then this happened to us. We have lost hope," 40-year-old Mary Anne Baril, whose corn and rice crops were spoilt, told AFP.

"We have no other means to survive," she said tearfully.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people.

The latest victims were mostly people who died in landslides, including a family of four. In addition to those killed in the Philippines, a woman was swept out to sea in Taiwan.

The Philippines' deadliest storm on record is Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across the central part of the country in November 2013.

In Hong Kong, waters surged in the famous Victoria Harbour and coastal fishing villages, from which hundreds of residents were evacuated to storm shelters.

Some roads were waist-deep in water with parts of the city cut off by floods and fallen trees.

In the fishing village of Tai O, where many people live in stilt houses built over the sea, some desperately tried to bail out their inundated homes.

"Floodwater is rushing into my home but I'm continuously shovelling the water out. It's a race against time," resident Lau King-cheung told AFP by phone.

The government warned people to stay indoors but some ventured out, heading to the coast to take photos.

A couple with a child were seen by an AFP reporter taking pictures on a pier known as a popular Instagram spot as waves surged and almost submerged it.

Others stayed at home but were terrified by smashing windows in their apartments.

"The entire floor and bed are covered in glass," one resident told local broadcaster TVB after her bedroom window shattered. "The wind is so strong."

Almost all flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled.

Schools in the city will be shut Monday.

In the neighbouring gambling enclave of Macau, all 42 casinos shut down for the first time in its history.

As the storm moved past Macau to the south, streets became submerged under water gushing in from the harbour.

Emergency workers navigated the roads on jetskis and dinghies, rescuing trapped residents.

The government and casinos are taking extra precautions after Macau was battered by Typhoon Hato last year, which left 12 dead.

On China's southern coast, more than two million people had been evacuated by authorities in Guangdong before the storm made landfall. 

 


Boeing made mistake in handling warning-system problem: CEO

Employees work in the cargo hold of a Boeing 727 MAX 9 test plane outside the company's factory, on March 14, 2019 in Renton, Washington. (AFP)
Updated 3 min 31 sec ago
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Boeing made mistake in handling warning-system problem: CEO

  • Airbus executives said the Max crashes aren’t affecting their sales strategy, but are a reminder of the importance to the whole industry of ensuring safety

PARIS: The chief executive of Boeing said the company made a “mistake” in handling a problematic cockpit warning system in its 737 Max jets before two crashes killed 346 people, and he promised transparency as the aircraft maker works to get the grounded plane back in flight.
Speaking before the industry-wide Paris Air Show, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters Boeing’s communication with regulators, customers and the public “was not consistent. And that’s unacceptable.”
The US Federal Aviation Administration has faulted Boeing for not telling regulators for more than a year that a safety indicator in the cockpit of the top-selling plane didn’t work as intended.
Boeing and the FAA have said the warning light wasn’t critical for flight safety.
It is not clear whether either crash could have been prevented if the cockpit alert had been working properly. Boeing says all its planes, including the Max, give pilots all the flight information — including speed, altitude and engine performance — that they need to fly safely.
But the botched communication has eroded trust in Boeing as the company struggles to rebound from the passenger jet crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
“We clearly had a mistake in the implementation of the alert,” Muilenburg said.
Pilots also have expressed anger that Boeing did not inform them about the new software that’s been implicated in the fatal crashes.
Muilenburg expressed confidence that the Boeing 737 Max would be cleared to fly again later this year by US and all other global regulators.
“We will take the time necessary” to ensure the Max is safe, he said.
The model has been grounded worldwide for three months, and regulators need to approve Boeing’s long-awaited fix to the software before it can return to the skies.
Muilenburg called the crashes of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines jets a “defining moment” for Boeing, but said he thinks the result will be a “better and stronger company.”
In the United States, Boeing has faced scrutiny from members of Congress and the FAA over how it reported the problem involving a cockpit warning light.
The feature, called an angle of attack or AoA alert, warns pilots when sensors measuring the up-or-down pitch of the plane’s nose relative to oncoming air might be wrong. Boeing has admitted engineers realized within months of the plane’s 2017 debut that the sensor warning light only worked when paired with a separate, optional feature but didn’t report the issue for more than a year, after the crash in Indonesia.
The angle-measuring sensors have been implicated in the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. The sensors malfunctioned, alerting anti-stall software to push the noses of the planes down. The pilots were unable to take back control of the planes.
Boeing told the FAA of what it learned in 2017 after the Indonesia crash.
Pilot Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union that represents American Airlines pilot, the Allied Pilots Association, said it’s good Muilenburg was willing to revisit the cockpit alert problem and to acknowledge Boeing mishandled conveying information.
But Tajer said he thinks Boeing made a series of unprecedented communication missteps that have “created a massive headwind to rebuilding trust.”
Restoring trust in the Max is Boeing’s No. 1 priority, Muilenburg said — ahead of an upgraded 777 and work on its upcoming NMA long-range jet.
The Max, the newest version of Boeing’s best-selling 737, is critical to the company’s future. The Max was a direct response to rival Airbus’ fuel-efficient A320neo, one of the European plane maker’s most popular jets; Airbus has outpaced Boeing in sales in the category.
The Max crashes, a slowing global economy, and damage from tariffs and trade fights threaten to cloud the mood at the Paris Air Show. Along with its alternating-years companion, the Farnborough International Airshow near London, the Paris show is usually a celebration of cutting-edge aviation technology.
Muilenburg forecast a limited number of orders at the Paris event, the first major air show since the crashes, but said it was still important for Boeing to attend to talk to customers and others in the industry.
He also announced that Boeing was raising its long-term forecast for global plane demand, notably amid sustained growth in Asia.
Boeing expects the world’s airlines will need 44,000 planes within 20 years, up from a previous forecast of 43,000 planes.
Muilenburg projected that within 10 years, the overall aviation market — including passenger jets, cargo and warplanes — would be worth $8.7 trillion, compared to earlier forecasts of $8.1 trillion.
Both estimates are higher than the ones from Airbus, which sees slower growth ahead.
However, Airbus is heading into the Paris show with confidence. It is expected to announce several plane sales and unveil its A321 XLR long-range jet. Airbus executives said the Max crashes aren’t affecting their sales strategy, but are a reminder of the importance to the whole industry of ensuring safety.