In 2017, Macau had to face Typhoon Hato, one of the strongest storms to hit the city in the past 50 years. In September of last year, Typhoon Mangkhut roared through the area, unleashing its fury and forcing all casinos to shut down. Now, another massive typhoon could hit the region again this year, according to Macau’s weather service, the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (MMGB).
The MMGB issued an assessment on Monday, warning that Macau could see another “super typhoon” this year. It didn’t specify whether or not the storm would become a category 10 typhoon, but the implication that a major disruption of activity in the city was emphasized.
Four to six typhoons are expected to reach as close as a 500-mile radius to Macau, according to the bureau. The first storm could come as earlier as mid-June and the season will continue until early October. This window coincides with the window established by the UN’s World Meteorological Bureau, which specifies the typhoon season as May to November.
A mild category eight typhoon can result in the closure of certain activities in Macau, such as public transportation. This can have an impact on the overall daily gross gaming revenue for the city’s casinos, as gamblers from mainland China and abroad lose access to the gambling venues during the transportation stoppage.
When Typhoon Hato skimmed passed Macau in August 2017, it caused severe flooding and loss of life. Almost half a billion dollars in economic losses were recorded due to the storm. Typhoon Mangkhut cause the first full casino shutdown in years when it came through a little more than a year later. That closure lasted from two and a half days and resulted in the city losing around $193 million in revenue.
Mangkhut was a rare category 10 storm and was one of the strongest to hit Macau in the city’s entire history. It brought winds of up to 99.4 mph, caused massive flooding and damage to Macau’s infrastructure. While the MMGB has refused to define the potential category of storm or storms that could hit the region, the use of the phrase “super typhoon” means that Macau could see another devastating season this year.