Tropical storm brings Hong Kong to a halt

June 25th, 2008 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, June 25 (DPA) Schools were closed, ferries grounded and dozens of flights cancelled or delayed Wednesday as Hong Kong was side-swiped by its first severe tropical storm of the year. Tropical storm Fengshen, downgraded from a typhoon after crossing from the Philippines where it caused heavy loss of life, brought the wealthy former British colony to a virtual standstill early Wednesday.

Weathermen hoisted the severe tropical storm signal number eight late Tuesday for the first time in 2008, forcing kindergartens, schools and offices across the city of 6.9 million to shut down.

Seventy flights in and out of Hong Kong International Airport were cancelled or delayed when the storm was at its peak between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. though flights later returned to normal. Buses and trains ran limited services and ferry services were suspended.

Heavy rains and gale-force winds lashed the territory and there were 23 reports of flooding but no serious injuries as a result of the storm.

The tropical storm made landfall in Shenzhen in neighbouring southern China and the severe storm signal was lowered after midday Wednesday as winds and rains eased.

The day was already a write-off for hundreds of schools and kindergartens, however, although some offices reopened in the afternoon after the number eight signal was lowered.

Hong Kong’s typhoon season runs from June to September but it is rare for a typhoon to score a direct hit on the wealthy high-rise city, with storms usually taking their greatest toll elsewhere in China.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Environment |