BEIJING • Typhoon Khanun is likely to hit southern China early today with winds of up to 114kmh, as the authorities in Hong Kong eased weather warnings and transport slowly returned to normal in the financial hub.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall between Zhanjiang, in Guangdong province, and Wenchang, in Hainan province, the official Xinhua news agency cited the National Meteorological Centre as saying.
The agency has issued an orange alert, the second highest in China's four-tier, colour-coded alert system for severe weather. Red is the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
Parts of Zhejiang, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces were forecast to be drenched in heavy rain from yesterday to this morning, Xinhua warned.
In some areas, precipitation is expected to be up to 200mm, it said.
As Typhoon Khanun tore away from Hong Kong yesterday, the city's Hospital Authority said that 18 residents - between 22 and 86 years old - had sought emergency treatment at public hospitals as at 7pm for injuries suffered during the storm, reported local daily Ming Pao.
The wild weather also forced a total of 202 people to seek refuge at 21 temporary shelters run by the Home Affairs Department across the city by evening time.
The weather observatory lowered the city's weather warning to the second-lowest level later yesterday, and ferry services to nearby islands slowly resumed, with Macau trips slated to return as of 9pm, Reuters reported, citing the transportation department and ferry companies.
After the cancellation of some flights to Taiwan and mainland China, most flights at Hong Kong's international airport were scheduled to depart on time or with minor delays for the remainder of the day, according to the airport's flight information system.
The storm comes about two months after Typhoon Hato - a maximum category 10 storm - caused havoc in Hong Kong and deaths in nearby Macau, with extensive flooding and disruption to transport.
In Hainan, high-speed train services were suspended from early yesterday, while ferries on the Qiongzhou Strait, which connects the island province with Guangdong on the mainland, were suspended last Saturday, Xinhua said.