Super Typhoon Saolawhich approaches the Chinese coast on Friday, could be “the most powerful” in more than 70 years to make landfall in the Hong Kong region, where the alert level is now at its maximum, threatening tens of millions of inhabitants. of megalopolises already caulked.
Hundreds of flights were canceled and the return to school was postponed in Hong Kong, while the soggy streets of this financial center were deserted.
Maximum alert level triggered
“Saola could become the strongest typhoon since 1949 to hit the Pearl River Delta,” which includes several major cities like Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Macau, the National Meteorological Center said on social media Weibo.
A direct impact on Hong Kong being possible, the authorities raised the alert level there on Friday at the end of the day from T8 to T9, then to T10, the maximum, issued only 16 times since the Second World War. They anticipate a significant increase in the force of the wind, likely to reach “118 km / h or more” with gusts that can exceed 220 km / h.
“Do not go out and stay away from windows and exterior doors. Make sure you have shelter,” the Hong Kong Meteorological Observatory warned.
Risk of “severe flooding”
The streets of Hong Kong were deserted on Friday, except for a few people looking for last-minute purchases. According to a resident, the government made the right choice by delaying the start of the school year. “It is better to wait until this is over before sending the children to school,” she said.
Storefronts and windows in businesses and homes have been protected with duct tape, while office buildings near Victoria Harbor have barricaded entrances to try to keep water out.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority announced the cancellation of more than 300 flights on Friday. The Bourse announced the cancellation of “morning trading sessions for all markets”.