Quantcast
Latest Stories

Hong Kong braces for year’s most powerful typhoon


Dark clouds hang low over Hong Kong’s Victoria Habour Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. Usagi, the year’s most powerful typhoon had Hong Kong in its cross-hair on Sunday after sweeping past the Philippines and Taiwan and pummeling island communities with heavy rains and fierce winds. The typhoon was grinding westward and expected to make landfall close to Hong Kong late Sunday or early Monday. AP

HONG KONG  — The year’s most powerful typhoon was grinding closer to Hong Kong on Sunday, forcing hundreds of flights to be canceled and shutting down shipping after pummeling island communities in the Philippines and Taiwan with heavy rains and fierce winds.

Typhoon Usagi was expected to make landfall just north of Hong Kong late Sunday or early Monday, with forecasters warning that it posed a “severe threat” to the southern Chinese city.

Usagi — Japanese for rabbit — was classified as a severe typhoon, packing sustained winds of 175 kilometers (109 miles) per hour, with gusts of up to 213 kph (132 mph).

The storm was downgraded from a super typhoon on Saturday — when its sustained winds fell below 241 kilometers (150 miles) per hour — as it passed through the Luzon Strait separating the Philippines and Taiwan, likely sparing residents in both places from the most destructive winds near its eye.

In the Philippines, Usagi left at least two people dead and two others missing, while in Taiwan nine people were hurt by falling trees on Kinmen island off China’s coast.

By late Sunday afternoon, the typhoon was about 210 kilometers (130 miles) east of Hong Kong, moving west at 20 kph (12 mph), the Hong Kong Observatory said.

It was expected to skirt Hong Kong about 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the north between Sunday night and Monday morning.

The observatory said that by 7 p.m. local time it would raise the No. 8 storm warning signal, the third highest on a five-point scale, up from the current No. 3 standby signal.

The typhoon wreaked havoc on flight schedules at airports in Hong Kong, nearby Macau and mainland China, upsetting travel plans for many passengers who were returning home at the end of the three-day mid-autumn festival long weekend.

Hong Kong International Airport said 353 arriving and departing flights were canceled and another 67 delayed.

Two of Hong Kong’s biggest airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair, said flights to and from the city’s airport would be canceled from 6 p.m. Sunday and resume Monday if conditions permit.

Major Chinese airlines also canceled flights to Hong Kong, Macau and cities in neighboring Guangdong and Fujian provinces, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

Fujian province suspended shipping between mainland China and Taiwan, Xinhua said.

The Guangdong provincial government urged people to prepare for the storm, which was forecast to slam into the manufacturing heartland of the Pearl River Delta as it skirted Hong Kong.

Guangdong authorities asked more than 44,000 fishing boats to return to port, while Fujian province evacuated thousands of people from low-lying coastal areas, Xinhua said.

In Taiwan, more than 3,300 people were evacuated from flood-prone areas and mountainous regions. The storm also caused a landslide that buried a rail line on Taiwan’s southeast coast, but rail services were restored by Sunday morning.

Another landslide late Saturday at a village in the southeast sent mud and rocks crashing through the ground floor of a resort spa, forcing the evacuation of frightened guests. The Chihben River breached its levies upriver, turning the town’s main street into a rock-strewn stream, flooding homes and damaging vehicles.

In the Philippines, a 50-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman drowned when a passenger boat capsized in rough waters off northeastern Aurora province, the Office of Civil Defense said Saturday. Two other people were missing in the incident, while the remaining nine passengers and crew were rescued.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: China , Hong Kong , Philippines , Taiwan , Typhoon Usagi , weather



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
Advertisement

News

  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace