Typhoon Wanda sweeping in from the South China Sea at 160 miles an hour devastated Hong Kong on September 1st.
SHOTS OF SIGN BOARDS BLOWN DOWN AT HONG KONG AND KOWLOON
TERRIFIC DAMAGE TO TREES
CARS AND LORRIES TURNED OVER BY THE WIND
SAMPANS SINKING AND JUNKS DAMAGED AT SHAUKIWAN
FERRY BOATS HALF SUNK
LAMPOST AND TRAIN FENCES BLOWN DOWN
MOST EXTENSIVE DAMAGE AT SHAR TIN VILLAGE
PEOPLE SEARCHING FOR DEAD BODIES
HUTS AND HOUSES WRECKED
SHOTS OF DEAD BODIES OF MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN
SHOTS OF STORM WATER GUSHING FROM HILL
PEOPLE PUTTING UP SANDBAGS
THE NEW RESTAURANT BOAT "THE HONG KONG LADY" WASHED UP NEAR KAI TAK RUNWAY
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Background: Typhoon Wanda sweeping in from the South China Sea at 160 miles an hour devastated Hong Kong on September 1st. Latest casualty figures given as 123 dead, 11 presumed dead, 41 missing and 600 injured. More than 46,500 people have been rendered homeless.
The Typhoon struck in the early morning bringing torrential rains. First to be hit were homes on the Peak, nearly 1,800 feet above sea level on Hong Kong Island. 20 feet glass doors were ripped from blocks of flats and carried away. Carpets, pictures and cupboard doors were sucked out by the wind as the rain lashed in.
As the Typhoon veered westward the fishing village of Shaukiwan on Hong Kong Island came full in line of its devastating force. Hundred ton fishing junks were lifted bodily and tossed on to the shore. Nearly 300 small boats - the homes of fishing families - were reduced to a floating wedge of wreckage covering more than an acre. Abandoning everything, the Chinese fisher-folk scrambled for the shore, where they took shelter in a market. Later many reported "I lost everything".
In the twin cities of Victoria and Kowloon shop fronts were ripped out, neon signs crashed down and houses collapsed. On the waterfront in Hong Kong trucks were overturned and parked cars blown through shop windows.
Ships torn loose from typhoon anchorages were swept about the harbour endangering other vessels. Two British ships, two Panamanian and one Turkish totalling more than 15,000 tons went aground.
At high tide shortly after 10.0 a.m. a 10 foot tidal wave on the little market town on Shar Tin, in the rural New Territories. The main part of the town was completely destroyed as the inhabitants sought refuge on nearby hills. Most of the 98 bodies recovered in the New Territories came from this one town. Survivors reported the water level rose a foot a minute.
A large area of rice producing land inundated by the sea will be useless for a long time.
Hong Kong Police, Civil Defence and the Services carried out rescue operations throughout the typhoon. Thousands of meals were given to the homeless, volunteer gangs removed hundreds of fallen trees, cleared the roads and dykes were repaired in an effort to prevent further flooding from the heavy rains expected.
The Hong Kong Social Welfare Department launched a 'disaster relief fund' with co-operation of English and Chinese newspapers, and voluntary welfare agencies cooperated in feeding housing typhoon victims. Unofficial estimate put the damage at GBP6 1/4 M. Sterling making the typhoon the worst in Hong Kong since 1937.
Now it is reported that a second typhoon moving slowly in the wake of Wanda might reach Hong Kong in two or three days.