HONG KONG, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Hong Kong braced for the arrival of Super Typhoon Chaola on Friday as authorities raised its strongest wind signal to No.8, effectively bringing the city to a standstill with most businesses, schools and stock markets closed. .
Chayola, packing winds of 200 km/h (125 mph), is expected to move toward the coast of eastern Guangdong, a neighboring province in mainland China. Chinese authorities issued their highest typhoon warning on Thursday, saying it could be among the five strongest typhoons to hit Guangdong since 1949.
Chayola is expected to move within 100 km (60 miles) of Hong Kong on Friday night and Saturday morning, causing the weather to deteriorate rapidly, the city’s meteorological observatory said.
The Observatory said it was considering the need to issue more cyclone warning signals for the day.
Hong Kong has five rankings for typhoons, 1, 3, 8, 9 and 10, which is a strong typhoon signal.
All schools in Hong Kong will be closed on Friday, although it will be the first day for many, the government said.
Fresh food markets in the city’s downtown Wan Chai district were thronged on Thursday afternoon as many vegetables were already sold out. People waited in long queues at supermarkets ahead of the storm.
Hong Kong’s observatory said heavy rain and strong winds are expected, while the city’s water level is expected to “significantly rise” until Saturday, with the possibility of severe flooding.
The city’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific said all flights in and out of Hong Kong were canceled between 2pm Friday and 10am Saturday local time.
It said further flight delays and cancellations may be required based on the cyclone’s track on Saturday morning.
A second typhoon, Haigui, is approaching Taiwan and is expected to make landfall on the northern side of the island on Sunday toward the eastern Chinese city of Fuzhou, according to Taiwan’s Central Meteorological Bureau.
Farah Master’s Report; Additional reflection by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing Lincoln Feast.
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