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Severe Typhoon Hato bears down on Hong Kong and the Pearl Delta

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Yesterday we were reporting about the threat of heavy rains in the Central and North-east of Thailand later this week. Today, the tropical storm Hato has been being renamed ‘Severe Typhoon Hato’ as it batters Hong Kong and communities in the Pearl Delta. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled and the stock market has been closed as heavy rain and winds pummelled the territory.

Hong Kong raised its highest storm warning Wednesday as Severe Typhoon Hato brought the city to a standstill, shutting down the stock market and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights as heavy rain and winds pummelled the territory.

The Nation is reporting that the weather observatory raised the storm warning to the city’s maximum Typhoon 10 signal — meaning hurricane force winds are expected — at 9:10 am (0110 GMT).

It was the first such alert in five years and only the the third time the Typhoon 10 warning has been issued since 1997 when the former British colony was handed over to China.

The observatory also warned of possible flooding and said that sea levels could rise by one metre as the typhoon brought wind gusts of up to 168 kilometres (104 miles) per hour.

The typhoon is expected to edge towards the Pearl River Estuary and to make landfall within around 100 kilometres to the west of Hong Kong this afternoon.

Strong waves crashed into Hong Kong’s coastline, with ferry services suspended, while the city’s usually crowded streets were deserted and strewn with fallen branches.

The territory’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific said almost all its flights leaving before 5:00pm (0900 GMT) Wednesday would be cancelled, with Hong Kong Airlines following suit.

SOURCE: The Nation, Hong Kong Free Press

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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