Taiwan shuts markets, offices as typhoon nears

People crossing a street during a downpour brought by Typhoon Chan-Hom in Taipei.
People crossing a street during a downpour brought by Typhoon Chan-Hom in Taipei.PHOTO: EPA

TAIPEI (BLOOMBERG) – Typhoon Chan-hom is approaching Taiwan, prompting the island to close financial markets, offices and schools on Friday, a day after another tropical storm disrupted the evening commute in Hong Kong.

Chan-hom’s approach also led China to recall fishing boats and cancel some train services ahead of the storm’s expected arrival in the eastern province of Zhejiang as a super typhoon on Friday night or Saturday morning local time, the official Xinhua News Service reported.

Typhoon Chan-hom had sustained winds of 173kmh, gusting to 209kmh, 290km north-east of the coast of Taipei at 2.30am local time on Friday, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Schools and government offices will be closed on Friday in five cities in Taiwan, including Taipei and Taoyuan, the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration said in a statement posted on its website late Thursday.

Stocks and bonds won’t trade in Taipei on Friday, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a text message.

Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration said 19 domestic flights and 18 international flights have been cancelled as of 8pm, according to a statement.

Hong Kong cut its warning to the second-lowest level at 10.10pm on Thursday as former storm Linfa weakened into a tropical depression and moved away from the city.

MTR Corp resumed train, light rail and bus services, and the Hong Kong- Macau Ferry Terminal reopened.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the No. 8 Northwest Gale or Storm Signal at 4.40pm, the first time the weather agency had raised the third-highest warning this year.

As a result, there was no after-hours trading on Thursday, including in futures of the benchmark Hang Seng Index and the yuan, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing said in a statement.

Linfa was about 140km west of the city as of 3am local time on Friday, and was forecast to move west- southwest at about 22kmh across western Guangdong and continue to weaken, the weather bureau said.