Typhoon Slams Hong Kong: Stock Market To Re-Open Today Despite Disrupted Flights And Business District Damage
Hong Kong was hit last night by a powerful typhoon trailing winds of more than 87 mph and heavy rainfall.
The country’s government (the former British colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1997) says more than 100 people were injured, some young children, with at least 72 admitted to hospital.
Last night the Hong Kong observatory issued a No. 10 tropical cyclone warning, its highest since 1999. That warning was downgraded to 8 in the early hours of Tuesday morning, then lowered to a 3 as wind speeds slowed.
However, the observatory is warning that gale force winds are still a danger.
Typically when a No. 8 signal or higher is raised, financial markets, businesses and schools and non-essential buildings are closed. This morning trading on the stock exchange was still temporarily halted, with the exchange and other banks in the Central district shuttered.
But with the signal now lowered to 3, the stock market will re-open today at 1 p.m. Hong Kong time.
As well as the flooding reported in the New Territories, flying debris from hundreds of uprooted trees and damage to surrounding buildings was sustained as Typhoon Vicente swept through the country’s central business district.
Approximately 24 subway stations were converted into temporary shelters to help the stranded in this area, and since last night more than 250 people have sought refuge.
Aviation authorities report that between midnight and 08:00 local time, 60 flights at Hong Kong airport were grounded, with a further 76 either delayed or diverted. These numbers are in flux. Ferry services between Hong Kong, Kowloon, the New Territories and outlying islands have also been suspended.
Internal repairs are now underway in Hong Kong, with crews attempting to remove felled trees from roads, offices and affected areas.
After hitting Hong Kong, Vicente continued to sweep west into China’s Guangdong province. As a result, 9 flights were cancelled at Zhuhai Airport on Monday evening and trains were rescheduled.
Public transportation is gradually resuming, although some flight disruption is expected to continue. In Guangdong, Chinese state reports over 30,000 fishing boats were told to return to harbor, with more than 10, 000 fishermen taking shelter on the Guangdong mainland.