2nd Storm Batters Southern China

2nd Storm Batters Southern China

HONG KONG (AP) -- A second tropical storm in days swept into southern China on Sunday, lashing Hong Kong and Macau with heavy rain and strong wind as the region reels from the strongest typhoon in decades that left at least 22 dead.

Severe Tropical Storm Pakhar made landfall west of the Chinese casino hub of Macau in the early morning, packing maximum sustained winds of 90 kilometers (55 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 106 kph (65 mph).

Forecasters in Hong Kong and Macau raised a storm signal two notches below the maximum, forcing the city to mostly shut down. Ferry operators halted services and airlines delayed or canceled some flights.

The storm is expected to move farther inland and gradually weaken later Sunday.

On Wednesday, Typhoon Hato left a trail of devastation as it barreled through the region, killing at least 22 people, including 10 in Macau and 12 more on mainland China.

The storm's toll in Macau sparked a furious response by residents in the casino hub, who complained of the government's slow response. The city's chief weather officer was forced to resign because of the criticism.

In an unprecedented move, soldiers from China's People's Liberation Army left their barracks to help residents and crews clean up the mess.