Hong Kong shuts down as Typhoon Haima edges closer

Hong Kong (CNN)Fierce winds and rains lashed Shanwei city in China’s Guangdong province as Typhoon Haima made landfall Friday at 12:40 p.m local time.

Nine cities in south China’s Guandong province have issued the highest red typhoon alert, according to Guandong province’s meteorological center.
In Shenzhen, all schools, offices and businesses have been closed. The city’s office of Disaster Prevention has urged people to remain indoors.

Hong Kong shuts down

Hong Kong remained on high alert Friday morning as Typhoon Haima edged closer, with the city’s weather Observatory issuing a Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 8.
The warning calls for tropical storm winds of 63 to 117 kph (39 to 73 mph) and advises residents to secure windows, reinforce them with shutters, and remain indoors. The No. 8 Storm Signal is expected to remain in force most of the day in Hong Kong.
So far, the Home Affairs Department has opened 22 temporary shelters in various districts, with a total of 129 people seeking refuge at the shelters. The stock exchange (HKEX) is also closed.
According to the Hong Kong Airport Authority, 741 passenger flights have been canceled and delayed as of 11:30 a.m. There have been no reports of flooding or landslides yet.

Strong gales expected

Winds over Hong Kong will gradually turn to the southwest Friday afternoon local time, causing places which had been sheltered to become more exposed to strong winds. The territory will continue to be affected by gales for some time.
Wind speeds of of up to 74 kph (46 mph) with gusts as powerful as 105 kph (65 mph) have been recorded in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Observatory has advised members of the public to be stay away from the shoreline owing to rough seas and squalls, and not to engage in water sports.

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