The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Tropical Storm Kai-tak on 13 August 2012. Storm clouds stretched across the northern Philippines, although Kai-tak lacked a distinct eye. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

By Simon Lee
16 August 2012

HONG KONG (Bloomberg) – Hong Kong suspended port services and shut schools as the city issued a gale warning in preparation for the second typhoon in a month.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the No. 8 storm signal, the third-highest indicator, at 10:15 p.m. local time, according to a statement on its website. Winds with mean speeds of 63 kilometers (39 miles) per hour or more are expected as Typhoon Kai-tak approaches, the bureau said.

At 10 p.m., Typhoon Kai-tak was centered about 270 kilometers south of Hong Kong and is forecast to move at about 25 kilometers per hour toward the coast of western Guangdong province, according to the statement.

“According to the present forecast track, Kai-Tak will be closest to Hong Kong in the next few hours, skirting within 250 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong,” the bureau said in its bulletin. “Local winds will strengthen further. Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 will stay in force for some time. The public should be on alert and pay attention to the latest news on the tropical cyclone.”

The city’s marine department suspended pilotage services, while the education bureau earlier announced a suspension of classes at all schools. Hongkong International Terminals Ltd. and COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Ltd. suspended some container operations at the city’s ports. Cathay Pacific, the city’s biggest carrier, said flights may be disrupted from midnight.

Severe Typhoon Vicente, the most serious storm to hit Hong Kong since 1999, felled trees throughout the city and damaged a coal conveyor belt at a CLP Holdings Ltd. (2) power station last month. Plastic pellets owned by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. were spilled into the city’s waters from a ship during the storm, affecting fishermen.

Hong Kong Closes Ports, Shuts Schools as Typhoon Kai-Tak Nears

HONG KONG, 16 August 2012 (Reuters) – Typhoon Kai Tak veered closer to the financial hub of Hong Kong late on Thursday, prompting the local observatory to raise the No. 8 tropical cyclone warning signal as some port operations were disrupted along with local transport services.

While financial markets, schools, businesses and non-essential government services close when any No. 8 or above signal is hoisted, the tropical cyclone was expected to skirt around 250 km west of the city, bound for the western fringes of China's Guangdong province, the observatory said.

It was not yet clear whether the No 8 signal, the third highest weather warning in the former British colony, would remain in force overnight and disrupt financial markets in the morning.

Should the signal remain hoisted until 9 a.m. on Friday (0100 GMT), the stock exchange will remain closed for at least part of the day.

Hong Kong's airport authority said no flights had been cancelled as of 1500 GMT, but advised travellers to check the latest flight status with their airlines.

Chinese authorities, meanwhile, are bracing for possible flooding along its southern coastline, and have called ships back to harbour after issuing the country's highest level red alert for sea waves and storm surges, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Hong Kong and south China brace for typhoon


  1. Anonymous said...

    Fire Earth reports:

    The storm destroyed 4,200 houses and damaged another 17,300 in south China’s Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Chinese officials said.

    At least several people were killed or reported missing as a result of the typhoon and an unknown number of others were injured.
    The storm forced 530,000 people to relocated as of early Sunday.
    About quarter of a million hectares of farmland were inundated.
    Cost of damage estimated at about a quarter o a billion US dollars.  


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