Observatory issues Hurricane Signal No. 10 as Hato intensifies

Ivan Schwartz
August 23, 2017

Carrier Cathay Pacific said nearly all its flights today between 6am and 5pm local time would be axed.

Hong Kong Airport Authorities said that by daybreak, 420 flights had already been cancelled.

Air New Zealand delayed last night's outbound flight to Hong Kong until this morning due to the cyclone.

Passengers are strongly advised to check the latest flight information on their airline's website.

The territory's flagship carrier Cathay Pacific said nearly all its flights leaving before 5:00pm (0900 GMT) Wednesday would be cancelled, with Hong Kong Airlines following suit.

The weather observatory said the storm would pass within 100km of Hong Kong early this morning, "posing considerable threat" to the territory.

A woman stands beside a big wave on a waterfront Typhoon Hato hitting in Hong Kong China
A woman stands beside a big wave on a waterfront Typhoon Hato hitting in Hong Kong China

The weather observatory raised its Typhoon 3 warning yesterday evening, triggered when wind speeds are expected to hit between 41kmh and 62kmh.

In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Waglan Island, Tate's Cairn and Cheung Chau Beach were 141, 135 and 126 kilometers per hour with maximum gusts 192, 187 and 163 kilometres per hour respectively. Trading for the day will be canceled if a No. 8 or stronger signal is still in force by noon.

It's the first T10 typhoon - the worst category - since 2012 and it's brought a lot of rain and heavy winds to Hong Kong.

The warning forced businesses, government offices, schools and courts to shut and the stock market to suspend trading, leaving the Asian financial center's normally bustling streets eerily quiet.

Typhoon Nida was the last storm to close the stock exchange for the whole day in August previous year.

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