China - Category 10 Typhoon Kills atleast 17 And Injures Hundreds.

At least 17 people were killed, and hundreds more were injured after South China was hit with its first T-10 typhoon in five years, last week.

Intense rainfall and winds from Typhoon Hato began to sweep across Hong Kong and Hainan at around 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23, and by 11:00 a.m. the eye of the catastrophic storm had moved over the territory. The most devastation was recorded in the Macau region, where tens of thousands of people were left without power or water. The facades of buildings were destroyed, windows were smashed and debris filled the streets as people scrambled for safety amid late warning of the typhoon's arrival. Total damages are estimated to have amounted to $12.5 billion.

When the smoke cleared the government faced heavy scrutiny over its handling of the storm. The People's Liberation Army was forced to swoop in and take control in the absence of reinforcements. And within days Macau's weather chief resigned on the heels of an alarming number of complaints coming into the region's Commission Against Corruption. A review of the typhoon's response, which turned out to be the strongest in 53 years, found that Macau raised its T8 warning a full nine hours after Hong Kong had. Seeing how Macau depends on its gambling industry, there have been accusations that the delay had to do in part with apprehension from officials who didn't want to shut casinos down.

An investigation by a special commission has been underway to determine whether corruption played a hand in the storm's response.


Cecilio LeacockComment