Hong Kong issued a tropical cyclone alert as Super Typhoon Saola approached the southern Chinese coast after bringing strong winds and heavy rains to Taiwan on Wednesday.
(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong issued a tropical cyclone alert as Super Typhoon Saola approached the southern Chinese coast after bringing strong winds and heavy rains to Taiwan on Wednesday.
The Hong Kong Observatory raised the No. 1 signal Wednesday and indicated it will upgrade its warning to the No. 3 signal later Thursday — the second level of its five-rung scale.
The cyclone was located about 610 kilometers (379 miles) east-southeast of Hong Kong as of 5:40 p.m. local time, packing sustained winds of up to 230 kilometers per hour (143 mph), according to the observatory. It’s projected to move toward the coast of eastern Guangdong.
Neighboring Fujian province in east China activated its emergency response on Tuesday and asked fishing boats to return to coast, Xinhua reported.
Authorities in Taiwan, where no typhoon has made landfall since 2019, closed offices and schools in parts of Kaohsiung and Pingtung Wednesday and canceled more than a dozen flights. The weather system earlier prompted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to place emergency response teams on standby.
Saola is moving faster than expected and its path has moved southwards, so Taiwan could lift the land warning Wednesday evening, Central News Agency reported, citing the island’s weather bureau. Tropical Cyclone Haikui, currently in the Pacific east of the Philippines, may interact with Saola, causing uncertainty over its path and movement, according to Hong Kong’s weather agency.
Earlier Wednesday, China issued an orange alert, the second-highest in its four-tier color-coded system for severe weather. Saola is projected to retain super-typhoon strength until Friday, and to move west along the coast of Guangdong province through the weekend, weakening as it goes, according to the mainland’s weather center.
The Philippines has borne the brunt of the typhoon so far, with nearly 200 towns flooded and 50,000 people forced to flee to safer grounds. Schools in several northern provinces were closed Wednesday as wind signals remain hoisted in those areas.
More than 40 roads and bridges remain unpassable in the north of the Philippines. Relief operations are underway, the country’s disaster management agency said.
–With assistance from Dominic Lau, Debby Wu, Jessica Sui, Kevin Ding, Manolo Serapio Jr., Cecilia Yap, Li Liu and Felix Tam.
(Adds more details from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan throughout.)
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