typhoon mangkhut
© Jason Lee / Reuters
Shenzhen, China, September 16, 2018
Terrified residents are holed up inside trembling buildings in southern China, as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches from the Philippines. Winds were seen tearing apart buildings, causing flooding, and flipping over vehicles.

Hong Kong and nearby Macau issued a rare No. 10 warning signal - the highest level possible - for the typhoon on Sunday. The cities are almost entirely shut down and one of Macau's main attractions, local casinos, were ordered to close for the first time in history, CGTN reports. The disaster has already left five people injured in Macao, according to local media.

The approaching storm has also disrupted power lines, as well as air and rail traffic, with a total of nearly 900 flights canceled.

Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to be the most intense in the southern part of the country this year. China's nuclear plants, Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station, which lie in Mangkhut's destructive path are reportedly "in combat readiness," bracing for the coming disaster.

Footage circulating on social media shows fierce winds, tearing off roofs and parts of buildings in Hong Kong and nearby areas. The city is almost entirely shut down. In Shenzhen, some 20km from Hong Kong, several small buildings were seen literally blown down by the storm.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut left 28 dead and caused massive evacuations in the Philippines before making its way to China. Another dangerous disaster - Hurricane Florence - has meanwhile made landfall over the eastern US, killing at least 11 people.