Typhoon Kalmaegi Approaches Hong Kong

By Bonnie Cao | September 15, 2014

Hong Kong issued its third-highest storm signal for the first time this year as Severe Typhoon Kalmaegi sweeps past China’s financial center.

The Hong Kong Observatory raised the No. 8 Storm Signal at 10:30 p.m. local time yesterday, according to its website. Winds with sustained speeds as high as 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour were measured at the storm’s center, the observatory said.

“The public should pay close attention to the latest information on the tropical cyclone before going to work or school in the morning,” the weather bureau said.

At 2 a.m. today, Kalmaegi was centered about 370 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong and is moving west-northwest at about 30 kilometers an hour toward China’s Guangdong province and Hainan island, according to the Observatory. The storm is expected to come closest to Hong Kong early this morning, when it will be about 300 kilometers away, it said.

China Southern Airlines Co., the country’s largest airline by passengers carried, canceled more than 50 flights scheduled for yesterday and today because of the approach of the typhoon, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

China recalled about 30,000 vessels to harbor and evacuated about 6,000 oil rig workers by helicopter as Kalmaegi approached, Xinhua said.

The Hong Kong observatory raised the Signal 8 warning three times last year. The city, located on China’s southern coast, gets on average about six tropical cyclones annually, according to the weather bureau.

The Hong Kong weather bureau raised Signal 3 once previously this year, for Super Typhoon Rammasun in July.

According to its published rules, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. will cancel premarket trading today should signal 8 still be in force between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., with the morning trading session to begin at least two hours after the signal is dropped. There will be no morning session if the warning is lowered after 9 a.m. and no trading for the day if it’s still in force after noon.

–With assistance from Zijing Wu in Hong Kong.

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