POWERFUL Typhoon Haima has made landfall in Hong Kong and southern China after smashing into the northern Philippines with ferocious wind and rain, triggering flooding, landslides, power outages and killing 13 people.
The center of the typhoon was recorded 110 kilometres east-northeast of Hong Kong, moving north-northwest at about 25 kph inland across eastern Guangdong as of 2pm Friday, the South China Morning Post reported.
The daily quoted the Hong Kong Observatory as saying that the storm made landfall in the vicinity of the mainland city of Shanwei while weather conditions continue to deteriorate with wind speeds picking up dramatically in exposed areas of the territory. Wind speeds of 105 kph were recorded at Chek Lap Kok, according to the SCMP.
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Throughout Friday afternoon, public transport and services remained shut down following the observatory’s Signal No. 8 alert on heavy downpours lasting several hours.
“Haima is making landfall in the vicinity of Shanwei. Winds over Hong Kong will turn to the southwest gradually this afternoon. Places which have been sheltered before will become more exposed to high winds,” the observatory said at about 1pm Friday, as quoted by the Hong Kong Free Press.
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“As the western part of Haima’s eye wall is rather close to Hong Kong, gales will affect the territory for some time.”
According to HKFP, at least one man was treated in the hospital due to the typhoon. The semi-autonomous region has also received reports of 81 fallen trees while 741 passenger flights have been cancelled or delayed as of 11:30am.
The news site said 129 people were seeking refuge at 22 temporary shelters.
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The Standard reported that the Hong Kong Exchanges and Friday’s trading in the securities and derivatives markets were canceled for the day. The bourse operator said there will also be no stock connect northbound trading. Hong Kong’s Legislative Committee meetings have also been called off on account of extreme weather conditions.
At about 4pm, the observatory said the winds will subside progressively later in the day as Haima moves away from Hong Kong gradually.
The observatory added it would consider issuing the strong wind signal No 3 around dusk.