Sunday, September 22, 2013

Densely populated Hong Kong battens down as typhoon approaches

Reuters: A powerful typhoon headed towards the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, on Sunday amid warnings of severe flooding as well as strong winds in the event of a direct hit.

Typhoon Usagi, the strongest storm to hit the Western Pacific this year, began pounding the Asian financial centre late on Sunday. Over 370 flights were cancelled in the city, while residents rushed home ahead of what weathermen warned could be the strongest hit by a typhoon in years.

The No. 8 signal warning was hoisted as winds intensified and the famous harbor churned with waves. The storm, which killed two people in the Philippines, was expected to buffet the city through Monday, possibly closing financial markets and the stock exchange.

The storm has weakened from "super" typhoon status but winds of over 160 kilometers per hour were expected. China's National Meteorological Centre issued its highest alert, with more than 80,000 people moved to safety in Fujian province and authorities deploying at least 50,000 disaster-relief workers, the state Xinhua news agency reported....

Typhoon Usagi on September 21, 2013, via NASA

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