Happy Valley’s commuters emerged from their homes Monday morning onto streets littered with evidence of Typhoon Mangkhut’s wild rampage.

Hong Kongers sheltered indoors for 10 hours through Sunday after the Hong Kong Observatory issued the peak T10 signal. Outside, the strongest recorded typhoon to hit the city wreaked destruction.

There were no reported fatalities but more than 400 people sought medical attention during the storm; high-rise buildings swayed and an estimated 40,000 people encountered power outages; at sea, storm surges reached record highs, while on land, Mangkhut’s force felled at least 1,500 trees.

That arboreal devastation left more than 600 sections of road impassable, therefore forcing authorities to suspend many bus, train, ferry and tram routes. The government Education Bureau ordered schools to remain closed.

Commuter inconvenience

In Happy Valley, one of Hong Kong’s most sheltered locations, shattered glass, broken signage and sundry hurled objects littered sidewalks and alleyways. But the suburb’s trees bore the greatest brunt.

Leaves and branches carpeted the footpaths and carriageways along Wong Nai Chung Road, the looping transportation artery that skirts the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Happy Valley Racecourse. People walked to work, stepping over and stooping beneath tree debris, many pausing to capture images on smart phones.

Mangkhut’s wind speed reached 179km/h as its eye passed by Hong Kong. The lash of that force was the undoing of an aged Banyan tree on Wong Nai Chung Road, which toppled across the mouth of the Jockey Club’s underground car park. The tree’s fall took out the overhead tram cable and its dense canopy covered two of the road’s three lanes.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, said that the citywide recovery work was already underway.

“We will mobilise resources and join hands with relevant organisations to clear roads and streets, remove fallen trees and objects, repair damaged facilities… with a view to resuming the city’s operation and people’s daily life to normal as soon as possible,” she said

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