The workers used pikes and shovels to dig into the mud Monday morning, with the use of heavy equipment limited on the soaked ground. At least seven bodies had been dug out Sunday before the work had ceased during the night.
"It swayed for quite a long time, at least two hours".
Typhoon Mangkhut roared toward densely populated Hong Kong and southern China on Sunday after ravaging across the northern Philippines with ferocious winds and heavy rain causing landslides and collapsed houses on September 16, 2018.
The gambling enclave of Macau, meanwhile, closed its casinos for the first time.
People walk through floodwaters caused by Typhoon Mangkhut on the waterfront in Hong Kong on Sept. 16 2018
They also warned people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour landmark, where storm surges as high as three and a half meters battered the waterfront.
While the death toll is now 54, with 32 people injured and 42 more missing, this is likely to rise in the coming days as rescue teams work to locate 36 people believed to be buried beneath landslides in the Cordillera Administrative Region, in the north of Luzon island.
An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people.
Landslides trapped up to 40 people, most of whom were gold miners, and their fate is now uncertain.
Some roads were waist-deep in water with parts of the city cut off by floods and fallen trees.
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Guangzhou, the capital and most populous city in Guangdong province, issued its highest typhoon emergency alert, according People's Daily, a state-run media outlet.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall around the Chinese port of Zhanjiang in western Guangdong on Sunday evening. Hong Kong's famous skyline, filled with massive buildings jutting up from the hill, was nearly completely obscured as squalls roared through, however visibility has since improved.
The massive storm left dozens dead from landslides and drownings as it sliced through the northern Philippines on Saturday.
Francis Tolentino, an adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, said most of the fatalities were killed in landslides in mountainous areas.
Police Superintendent Pelita Tacio said that a part of a mountain slope collapsed on the miners' bunkhouses in a far-flung village of Itogon town in Benguet province as Typhoon Mangkhut's ferocious winds and rain pounded the gold-mining region on Saturday.
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Mangkhut, the Thai name for Southeast Asia's mangosteen fruit, was expected to skirt 100 km (62 miles) south of Hong Kong and veer west towards the coast of China's Guangdong province, and the gaming center of Macau.
The typhoon barreled into the southern Chinese city of Taishan at 5 p.m. Sunday. All high-speed and some normal rail services in Guangdong and Hainan provinces were also halted.
The official death toll complied by the Philippines disaster agency still stands at zero as it instituted a stringent criteria for associating deaths with storms following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Packing gale force winds of more than 200 kph (125 mph), tropical cyclone Mangkhut is considered the strongest to hit the region this year, equivalent to a maximum Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic. The storm weakened considerably after its powerful assault on the Philippines' island of Luzon, where at least 28 have died and more than 150,000 were displaced.
Almost half a million people were evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province, the gambling enclave of Macau closed down casinos for the first time and the Hong Kong Observatory told people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour, where storm surges battered the waterfront reinforced with sandbags.
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