Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Asian financial hubs in Hong Kong and China’s densely populated Guangdong province canceled hundreds of flights due to the threat of Typhoon Saola on Friday (1/9/2023).
Apart from these two areas, Typhoon Saola also forced several cities in China to close businesses, schools and financial markets.
With winds of over 200 kph, the typhoon could make landfall late Friday or early Saturday in Guangdong. Typhoon Saola was one of the five strongest typhoons to hit the southern province since 1949.
Hong Kong weather officials said the weather would deteriorate rapidly once the typhoon hit, with the possibility of storm surges being about 3 meters higher than normal tides.
They added that the maximum water level could reach a record high, with the possibility that the wind signal in the city would increase to the second highest level between 18:00 and 20:00 local time.
Seeing this, Cathay Pacific, the city’s flagship airline, said all flights with Hong Kong between 2pm local time on Friday and 10am local time on Saturday had been cancelled.
Authorities also halted train services in Guangdong from 8pm on Friday until 6pm on Saturday, while the cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou have closed schools.
Shenzhen, a city of more than 17 million people, also suspended work, business and financial market activities from Friday afternoon. Authorities warned that damaging winds could batter the region into Saturday.
By 11:00 am on Friday, airports in Shenzhen and the nearby city of Zhuhai had also canceled hundreds of flights. As a safety precaution, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge connecting the three cities will also be closed on Friday.
In Guangdong, officials at the Taishan nuclear power plant said they had suspended outdoor operations and removed vulnerable materials, and emergency staff were on duty.
In the gambling hub of Macau, weather officials said they would raise the wind warning level to the second highest on Friday, and the highest level on Saturday morning.
Weather authorities in China said Typhoon Saola could make landfall along the coast between the cities of Huidong and Taishan. Hong Kong and Macau lie in the middle of the stretch.
Saola is one of three tropical cyclones that form in the northwest Pacific Ocean and South China Sea.
The second wave, Haikui, is approaching Taiwan, and is expected to hit Taiwan’s east coast on Sunday before heading for China’s Fujian province, according to weather officials on the island. Kirogi, which is farthest from land, is classified as a tropical storm.
Terrible Prophecy for China, Big Catastrophe in Front of Eyes