Macau shuts casinos as Mangkhut approaches - RTHK
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Macau shuts casinos as Mangkhut approaches

2018-09-16 HKT 10:49
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Macau shut down all its casinos in a historic first as Typhoon Mangkhut approached on Sunday, with authorities warning the gambling enclave would be hit by severe flooding.

The Macau government was heavily criticised by residents last year for failing to prepare the city ahead of Typhoon Hato, which left widespread damage and 12 people dead.

A statement from authorities late on Saturday said the decision to shut Macau's 42 casinos was approved by the city leader and agreed by gaming bosses.

"The suspension of gaming operations is for the safety of casino employees, visitors to the city and residents," the government statement said.

Casino staff said venues would be shut until further notice as the city raised its second highest storm warning.

Macau's weather bureau said the storm warning would be raised to the highest T10 level later on Sunday with the worst rain and winds expected around midday local time.

Shops and businesses were boarded up and protected by sandbags across the city and its streets, usually crowded with tourists, were deserted.

Macau, a semi-autonomous southern Chinese city, had to turn to troops from mainland China's People's Liberation Army stationed in the enclave to help with the massive clear-up after Hato.

The city's weather chief resigned after the storm, which was the worst to hit Macau in over 50 years, and the government was forced to apologise for failing to prepare sufficiently in advance. (AFP)