The Hong Kong Observatory issued the No. 8 Northwest Gale or Storm Signal Friday morning as Typhoon Nuri edging close to the southern Chinese city.
According to the Hong Kong Observatory, at 9 a.m. (010 GMT) Friday, Nuri was centered about 150 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong near 21.5 degrees north latitude and 113.8 degrees east longitude.
It was forecast to move northwest or west-northwest at a speed of 14 kilometers per hour towards the Pearl River estuary and threatens Hong Kong.
The arrival of the typhoon forced the cancellation of Hong Kong's most ferries connecting some of the far-fetched islands, the neighboring Macao as well as some cities. Most of the bus transport in the city was also suspended.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) announced Friday's 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 were prevailing over Hong Kong gales over offshore waters and high grounds, with the maximum sustained winds recorded at 86 kilometers per hour. 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.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority expected at least 82 flights arriving at or departing the Hong Kong International Airport to be canceled Friday due to the bad weather, advising passengers to call the hot-line of the airlines before going to the airport.
All courts, tribunals, day school classes, immigration offices and other government non-emergency services were also forced to suspend because of the hoisting of No. 8 gale or storm signal.
The Olympic live sites in Victoria Park and Sha Tin Park were closed due to Typhoon Nuri but the 11-day Beijing Olympic Games Equestrian competitions has come to a close Thursday night at the Shatin Equestrian Venue.
(Xinhua News Agency August 22,2008)