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Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 12:57

HK returning to normal as Nida blows over

By Agencies

HK returning to normal as Nida blows over
Residents brave strong winds in Sai Wan on Aug 2, 2016 as typhoon signal number 8 remains in force. The Hong Kong Observatory issued this year's first category 8 storm signal on Monday night as Typhoon Nida approached the city. (Roy Liu / China Daily)
HONG KONG — Typhoon Nida swept through Hong Kong on Tuesday, shutting down most of the financial hub with gale-force winds and disrupting hundreds of flights, while low-lying areas were put on flood alert.

The Hong Kong Observatory downgraded its typhoon warning from No 8 to No 3 at 12:40 pm Tuesday. People started returning to work after lunchtime and occasional traffic snarls were seen.

With Nida moved inland and weakened, winds over Hong Kong also continued to moderate. If local winds weaken further, the Observatory will consider cancelling all Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals.

Hong Kong's first major typhoon this year brought gusts of more than 100 km per hour and prompted the observatory to issue an amber warning, signifying heavy rain, at 5:20 am Hong Kong time.

By mid-day, the Hong Kong observatory had canceled its rainstorm warning, but urged people to continue to be vigilant for river flooding. It said it recorded maximum gusts exceeding 128 kilometers per hour.

More than 150 flights were cancelled, the Airport Authority said, with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair warning none of their flights would be operating until 2 pm (06:00 GMT) at the earliest. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport and around 325 flights are expected to be rescheduled.

Ferry, tram and bus services were also suspended.

Streets were largely deserted and shops shuttered since Monday evening when the typhoon signal 8 was hoisted, prompting many people to leave work early.

Nida was moving gradually to the inland areas of Guangdong and winds near its centre had showed signs of weakening, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

HK returning to normal as Nida blows over
People react as waves splash on to the road in Sai Wan in the morning of Aug 2, 2016 as typhoon signal number 8 remains in force. (Roy Liu / China Daily)
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) announced that the morning trading in its securities market, including Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect trading, and derivatives market had been delayed due to the issuance of Typhoon Signal No 8.

The morning trading session at the Hong Kong stock exchange was suspended and the market will be shut for the rest of the day if a typhoon signal 8 is still in place by noon.

The Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society said the local gold market will also cancel trading on Tuesday morning due to the typhoon.

Across the border, part of Guangdong province closed offices, factories and schools as the typhoon swept across the southern part of the metropolis of Guangzhou.

Airports in the southern part of the province, including Shenzhen and Zhuhai, cancelled most flights while more than 35,000 people were evacuated, state media reported.

Last month, Typhoon Nepartak drove at least 420,000 Chinese from their homes and caused more than 7.1 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion) in losses in Fujian province alone.

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