One of the strongest typhoons on record hits Macau, southern China
Wednesday, August 23, a huge tropical storm ripped through Macau and southern China bringing damage to casino resorts as well as homes and other businesses in the region. Typhoon Hato caused officials in Hong Kong to issue a No. 10 warning, the first time in five years. The storm reportedly consisted of winds of more than 124 mph. At around noon in Macau, the area was flooded with many resorts affected by water and power outages.
According to GGRAsia, the government of Macau stated that the typhoon was the strongest on record for Macao in the last 53 years. Local news updates indicate that between 12 and 16 people have died since reports began coming in on Wednesday. As many as 153 people were injured due to the conditions from the typhoon.
As of this morning, the storm is still affecting casino resort operations in Macau as well as public transportation. Casino properties located in Cotai are limited in regards to the water supply but electricity was able to be restored last night. According to local media sources, as of this morning, some Macau peninsula casino hotels have a limited power supply.
With water and power issues, among other problems, many casino properties were trying to make arrangements for existing guests. New customers were not being accepted. On Wednesday evening, the government of Macau stated that they were trying to see that water service is restored and electricity supplies were reactivated as quickly as possible.
By this morning, public transportation was still having issues. The number of buses in operation was reduced and several roads are still inaccessible due to debris or trees knocked down by the typhoon. Around Macau, several traffic jams have been created and cleanup efforts are taking some time to complete.
Yesterday, the border crossings with mainland China and Macau were temporarily closed due to power issues. The crossings have now been restored to normal as of this morning. Also resuming this morning were ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau, however, there is a limited number of sailings on offer.
Flights were grounded on Wednesday due to the weather conditions and the Macau International Airport stated that their facility is gradually resuming operations. For Hong Kong, over 450 flights were canceled yesterday due to Typhoon Hato.
Social media has allowed an inside look into the issues that casino resorts are facing due to the storm. Several casino resorts in the area were damaged. Photos have been circulating online showing damage, such as the windows at the City of Dreams venue as well as tree debris at the Galaxy Macau.
GGRAsia was provided a statement by Melco Resorts, a gaming operator of Macau, who stated that their properties have minimal exterior damage that will be repaired over the next few days. Altira was having power problems so guests were relocated to properties in Cotai. Both Studio City and City of Dreams remain open.
According to a report at CNBC, Union Gaming Analyst Grant Govertsen has stated that he believes Typhoon Hato will hurt the casino revenue of Macau. The area has seen six consecutive months of growth in a double-digit percentage. Analysts feel that this number could be affected by the loss of revenues during the storm.