GlobalHong Kong closes schools ahead of typhoon

Hong Kong closes schools ahead of typhoon

HONG KONG— Schools and the Hong Kong stock market were closed on Monday due to the impact of Typhoon Talim, which is headed for mainland China and Hainan Island.

Authorities issued alerts for residents and tourists heading to the region’s beaches, urging them to stay in safe places and away from surfaces susceptible to flooding or landslides.

State broadcaster CCTV showed images of strong waves and winds hitting an oil rig some 200 kilometers (125 miles) offshore. More than 9,800 employees were evacuated from such platforms before noon on Monday, CCTV reported.

In Macau, classes and public transportation have been suspended, the station reported.

Residents of Fuzhou, in Fujian province, were trapped in floodwaters amid a torrential downpour, CCTV reported. Some 1,000 villagers were affected and more than 50 had to be evacuated.

As Hong Kong, a regional hub for travel and business, braced for more rain and wind, more than 100 people sought refuge in temporary shelters. Some public services and the ferry service were suspended and several events were postponed. The city’s airport authority said 16 flights were cancelled.

The Hong Kong Observatory raised the typhoon alert to its third highest level on Monday, the first time it has done so this year.

As Talim — with maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h (87 mph) per hour — gradually moved away from Hong Kong in the afternoon, the observatory lowered its alert level.

China’s National Meteorological Administration forecast the typhoon would hit Guangdong and Hainan provinces on Monday before moving into the Gulf of Tonkin and hitting the Guangxi region on Tuesday. Talim is expected to weaken as it passes over Vietnam on Tuesday, he added.

In Hong Kong, the government received 32 reports of downed trees and two reports of flooding. Authorities urged citizens to stay away from the coast.

While typhoons are common in East Asia, temperatures this year have reached record highs in large parts of China, South Korea and Japan, leading to the death or hospitalization of several people from heat stroke.

The weather agency reported that temperatures in Turpan, in the arid northwestern region of Xinjiang, hit 52.2 degrees Celsius (125.9 Fahrenheit) on Sunday. Schools and offices were closed, as were transportation and agriculture, particularly in the region’s famed wine-producing area, the agency said.

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