HONG KONG • Typhoon Hato - named after the Japanese word for pigeon - churned towards the city yesterday, and widespread flight cancellations were expected at Hong Kong's international airport.
The weather observatory said the storm would pass within 100km of Hong Kong early this morning, "posing considerable threat" to the territory. It warned of strong winds, rough seas and possible flooding due to heavy rain.
Carrier Cathay Pacific said almost all its flights today between 6am and 5pm local time would be axed.
Hong Kong Airlines has also cancelled all its flights from 7am to 5pm, and other carriers have already posted cancellations to their schedules.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority said passengers should confirm their flights before heading to the airport.
"As Typhoon Hato gradually approaches, flights at the Hong Kong International Airport will be affected all day tomorrow," it said.
Cathay Pacific said in a statement on its website that wind speed and direction were "severely impacting flight operations", although it added that operations remained normal last night.
The weather observatory raised its Typhoon 3 warning yesterday evening, triggered when wind speeds are expected to hit between 41kmh and 62kmh.
It predicted that it would raise it to a Typhoon 8, the third-highest warning level, at around midnight.
Hong Kong is regularly hit by typhoons between July and October.
Earlier yesterday, Hato's path prompted some Taiwan counties to shut schools and offices, but the government has lifted the land warning. There has been no major damage to the island.
China's weather service warned of torrential rain and gales in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Guizhou.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA, BLOOMBERG