140 MPH winds threaten the two SARs as Beijing issues highest storm warning; closure of financial organizations and public transportation such as plans and trains
Original story by Ian Livingston for the Washington Post
Typhoon Saola — the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane — is closing in on Hong Kong and coastal southeast China. As it does so, transportation, government, businesses and schools have come to a halt across the region.
The storm is expected to scrape ashore as a weakening but powerful typhoon late Friday and into Saturday local time, following a peak intensity of 150 mph (130 knots) Thursday, when it was briefly considered a super typhoon.
Still packing 140 mph (120 knots) winds, Saola was about 150 miles offshore Hong Kong early Friday morning local time and moving east around 6 mph (5 knots), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).
In anticipation of Saola, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a Storm Signal No. 8, the third highest level on a scale that goes up to 10. Higher warning signals are possible as the typhoon approaches Friday.
“Local weather is expected to deteriorate significantly later today, with heavy squally showers and violent winds,” the observatory wrote in a pre-dawn update.
Typhoons in the northwest Pacific are no different from hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic. Typhoons whose maximum winds reach at least 150 mph are called super typhoons.
Schools, businesses and the Hong Kong stock market closed Friday in advance of the storm, according to Reuters. The city’s chief executive, John Lee, posted to Facebook that he has requested all city units to be fully deployed to manage the storm threat.
China has suspended 121 passenger trains in the region through Sept. 6, according to reports from the Associated Press. The AP also noted that fishing boats have been called to port, while cities near the potential landfall point in Guangdong Province have stopped most activities until an all-clear after the storm.
Although Saola is forecast to weaken on approach to land, sustained winds around 100 mph (85 knots) are forecast as it makes its closest approach to Hong Kong. At that time, wind gusts up to 120 mph (105 knots) also remain possible right near the water.
Hong Kong has been subjected to intense typhoons in the past. To learn more insights, read the full article as it originally appeared on the Washington Post here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2023/08/31/typhoon-saola-hongkong-china-flooding/
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