Typhoon Mangkhut toll reaches 74 in Philippines

Ted Aljibe  AFP via Getty Images

Ted Aljibe AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong and southern China hunkered down under red alert Sunday as strong winds and heavy rain from Typhoon Mangkhut lashed the densely populated coast, a day after the biggest storm of the year left at least 28 dead from landslides and drownings in the northern Philippines. Dozens of residents sought shelter there during the storm despite warnings it was risky.

Rescuers are scrambling to dig up the landslide site, but they find at least 70 people who are still missing, majority buried alive by a landslide in the mining municipality of Itogon in Benguet province from the northern Philippines.

Searchers used shovels and bare hands to dig through mounds of rocky soil in the northern Philippine mountain town of Itogon, where 11 bodies have been pulled from the rubble and dozens more may still be trapped after a landslide buried an emergency shelter.

Mangkhut has killed 65 people since it tore through the Philippines. The Atlantic hurricane could worsen the condition as torrential rains would result in landslides and flash floods.

In Hong Kong, an impressive cleaning operation is under way to remove broken trees, fix rough roads and restore damaged power lines.

Meanwhile, the official death toll from the storm has risen 74. "I work with them", said miner Johnny Paggadut Jr.

More than 155,000 people remain in evacuation centres in the Philippines two days after Mangkhut - the world s most powerful storm this year - struck, said national police spokesman Benigno Durana.

TWO Filipino tourists were hurt while 41 others were rescued as Typhoon Mangkhut battered Hong Kong, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.

"This typhoon really was super strong ... but overall, I feel we can say we got through it safely", Carrie Lam, the territory's chief executive, told reporters.

Meanwhile, four people are still missing in Baguio City and 64 in Benguet.

"We are very optimistic that we can finish this with the assistance of all the sectors, of the military and civilian side, as well as the local government units", she said.

Federal emergency official Brock Long said: 'Not only are you going to see more impact across North Carolina, but we're anticipating a lot of damage going through West Virginia, all the way up to OH as the system exits'.

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) raised the storm signal to T10 - the highest level possible - Sunday morning local time, with the city nearly entirely shut down.

Around him, hundreds of searchers, a quarter of them miners, scraped away at the hardening mass of mud as cadaver-sniffing dogs were led across the site.

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