Hong Kong – Typhoon Nida swept through Hong Kong on Tuesday, shutting down most of the financial hub with gale-force winds and disrupting hundreds of flights, while low-lying areas were put on flood alert.
Hong Kong’s first major typhoon this year brought gusts of more than 100 km per hour (62 miles per hour) and prompted the observatory to issue an amber warning, signifying heavy rain, at 5.20 am Hong Kong time (2120 GMT).
More than 150 flights were canceled, the Airport Authority said, with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair warning none of their flights would be operating until 2 pm (0600 GMT) at the earliest. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport and around 325 flights are expected to be rescheduled.
Ferry, tram and bus services were also suspended.
Streets were largely deserted and shops shuttered since Monday evening when the typhoon signal 8 was hoisted, prompting many people to leave work early.
Nida was moving gradually to the inland areas of Guangdong and winds near its center had showed signs of weakening, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) announced that the morning trading in its securities market, including Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect trading, and derivatives market had been delayed due to the issuance of Typhoon Signal No. 8.
The morning trading session at the Hong Kong stock exchange was suspended and the market will be shut for the rest of the day if a typhoon signal 8 is still in place by noon.
The observatory said it would consider issuing the Strong Wind Signal No.3 after midday and before 2pm.
The Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society said the local gold market will also cancel trading on Tuesday morning due to the typhoon.
Across the border, part of Guangdong province closed offices, factories and schools as the typhoon swept across the southern part of the metropolis of Guangzhou.
Airports in the southern part of the province, including Shenzhen and Zhuhai, canceled most flights while more than 35,000 people were evacuated, state media reported.
Last month, Typhoon Nepartak drove at least 420,000 Chinese from their homes and caused more than 7.1 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in losses in Fujian province alone.