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Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 14:31
HKO issues first typhoon signal No. 9 of the year
By Wang Zhan
Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 14:31 By Wang Zhan

A man holds an umbrella against the strong winds along the waterfront of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (VINCENT YU / AP)

HONG KONG -The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) hoisted the Increasing Gale or Storm Signal No. 9 in the early hours of Wednesday as winds from typhoon Higos intensified significantly.

The observatory said Higos was closest to Hong Kong at around 1 am Wednesday, skirting about 100 kilometers to the southwest of the Hong Kong Observatory

The number 9 signal remained in force till 7.40 am on Wednesday morning when it was replaced with Southeast Gale or Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8.   

It issued the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 in the afternoon Tuesday and upgraded the signal to number 8 at 10:40 pm.

This was the first typhoon signal number 9 that the HKO issued this year.

ALSO READ: China braces for heavy downpours from typhoon Higos

In a weather bulletin, the observatory said Higos was closest to Hong Kong at around 1 am Wednesday, skirting about 100 kilometers to the southwest of the Hong Kong Observatory.

The HKO said seas were very rough and members of the public were advised to stay away from the shoreline and not to engage in water sports.

Owing to storm surge, some low-lying areas may have flooding or backflow of seawater tomorrow morning, it said.

ALSO READ: Typhoon Mekkhala hits Fujian with heavy wind, rains

The Education Bureau earlier suspended classes in kindergartens and schools for children with physical or intellectual disabilities.

While all face-to-face classes and on-campus activities were suspended due to the epidemic, some of these schools remained open for students who had to go to school because they lacked a carer at home, the bureau said in a statement.

The Labour Department also reminded employers to make prior work arrangements for staff to ensure their safety.

READ MORE: Typhoon Hagupit makes landfall in east China

The Home Affairs Department has activated a round-the-clock hotline, 2572 8427, for public enquiries on the tropical cyclone.

Meanwhile, the MTR said its rail and bus services remain normal. It said additional staff had been deployed to monitor the overhead lines and track conditions while they also prepare and check all emergency equipment.

According to local media reports, the Transport Department announced that most ferries services were suspended early.

The NWFB & Citybus said in a statement on Tuesday that all of their daytime routes will operate normally until the last trip while all late night and overnight routes will suspend service from 1:00 am.

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