Hong Kong Shuts Down As Severe Typhoon Hato Wrecks Havoc, Flights Delayed And Trading Halted

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 2
| August 23 , 2017 , 09:41 IST

The Asian financial hub of Hong Kong faced a shut down as Typhoon Hato identified as a maximum category 10 storm hit the city on Wednesday. Thousands of people had been evacuated on Tuesday itself in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Hato, hundreds of flights have been cancelled, schools and business closed and trading in financial markets suspended.

Maximum winds recorded near the centre of Typhoon Hato stood at 155 kph (95 mph) and the gusts of the wind in residential areas have already caused considerable damage, sending tarpaulins, roof screens and tree branches flying.

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As the typhoon churned up water in the iconic Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, triggering massive waves on the most popular beaches of the city, a senior scientific officer at the Hong Kong Observatory cautioned that sea levels may rise up to 5 metres (15 feet) in certain areas.

Warning about the possibility of flash floods, the weather observatory had issued a signal 10 storm warning, it's highest weather warning which propelled the city into action from Tuesday evening itself in preparation for the Typhoon.

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According to reports, the stock exchange trading which was delayed on Wednesday morning may be suspended for the whole day if the storm signal remains above 8 by noon.

The flagship carrier of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific said that the Typhoon Hato would "severely" impact flight operations, with the majority of flights to and from Hong Kong between 2200 GMT Tuesday and 0900 GMT Wednesday being cancelled. Other transport services such as ferries to Macau and outlying islands of Hong King were also suspended.

In general, financial markets, schools, businesses and non-essential government services close when a storm warning of signal 8 or above is hoisted.

The last storm to close the stock exchange for an entire day was the Typhoon Nida that hit the city in August last year.