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Hong Kong Closes Ports, Shuts Schools as Typhoon Kai-Tak Nears

Hong Kong suspended port services and shut schools as the city issued a gale warning in preparation for the second typhoon in a month.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the No. 8 storm signal, the third-highest indicator, at 10:15 p.m. local time, according to a statement on its website. Winds with mean speeds of 63 kilometers (39 miles) per hour or more are expected as Typhoon Kai-tak approaches, the bureau said.

At 10 p.m., Typhoon Kai-tak was centered about 270 kilometers south of Hong Kong and is forecast to move at about 25 kilometers per hour toward the coast of western Guangdong province, according to the statement.

“According to the present forecast track, Kai-Tak will be closest to Hong Kong in the next few hours, skirting within 250 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong,” the bureau said in its bulletin. “Local winds will strengthen further. Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 will stay in force for some time. The public should be on alert and pay attention to the latest news on the tropical cyclone.”

The city’s marine department suspended pilotage services, while the education bureau earlier announced a suspension of classes at all schools. Hongkong International Terminals Ltd. and COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Ltd. suspended some container operations at the city’s ports. Cathay Pacific, the city’s biggest carrier, said flights may be disrupted from midnight.

Severe Typhoon Vicente, the most serious storm to hit Hong Kong since 1999, felled trees throughout the city and damaged a coal conveyor belt at a CLP Holdings Ltd. power station last month. Plastic pellets owned by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. were spilled into the city’s waters from a ship during the storm, affecting fishermen.

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