The Hong Kong Observatory issued the No. 8 Southeast Gale or Storm Signal on Wednesday morning as the tropical storm Kammuri edging close to the southern Chinese city.
According to the Hong Kong Observatory, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Kammuri was centered about 140 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong near 21.1 degrees north, 113.8 degrees east. It was forecast to move west-northwest at a speed of 14 kilometers per hour towards Guangdong Province, edging close to Hong Kong.
The arrival of the tropical storm forced the cancellation of most of the ferries leading to some of the far-fetched islands, the neighboring Macao as well as some mainland cities. Most of the bus transport in the city was suspended.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) announced Wednesday the morning trading sessions of both the securities and derivatives markets have been delayed due to the issuance of Tropical cyclone Signal No. 8 by the Hong Kong Observatory.
The markets of HKEx's major products will resume trading from 2: 30 p.m. local time (0630 GMT) if the signal is canceled before noon. If the securities market resumes trading in the afternoon, there will be no pre-opening session.
The Hong Kong Observatory said that gale force winds are affecting Hong Kong with storm force winds over offshore waters and high grounds. The Observatory advised the public to lock all windows and doors, fit bars and insert reinforced shutters and gates, and stay away from the shoreline, not engaging in water sports.
Thirty-eight flights in and out of the Hong Kong International Airport were delayed or canceled due to bad weather, the Airport Authority said on Wednesday morning, advising passengers to call the hotline of the airlines before going to the airport.
The Home Affairs Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Wednesday morning it has opened 19 temporary shelters in various districts for people in need of refuge during the passage of the tropical cyclone.
The Education Bureau has announced that all day school classes are closed on Wednesday.
(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2008)