Hong Kong and south China brace for typhoon

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 16, 2012 11:48 AM
Hong Kong and south China brace for typhoon

HONG KONG (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 canceled as of 1500 GMT, but advised travelers 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 harbor after issuing the country's highest level red alert for sea waves and storm surges, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

(Reporting by James Pomfret)