Typhoon Mangkhut Photo: Hong Kong Observatory
Typhoon Mangkhut Photo: Hong Kong Observatory

The Hong Kong Observatory issued a No. 3 Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal at 4:20pm on Saturday as super typhoon Mangkhut approached Hong Kong.

This means that winds with mean speeds of 41 to 62 kilometers per hour are expected.

Mangkhut continues to move rapidly towards the coast of western Guangdong, posing a severe threat to the region.

Mangkhut will be closest to the Pearl River Delta around noontime on Sunday and local winds will further strengthen. The Observatory will consider the need of issuing higher signals depending on the changes in local wind strength.

At 4pm, Super Typhoon Mangkhut was estimated to be about 660 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong (near 18.8 degrees north 119.3 degrees east) and is forecast to move west-northwest at about 30 kilometers per hour across the northern part of the South China Sea towards the coast of western Guangdong.

Mangkhut is moving rapidly towards the coast of western Guangdong, posing a severe threat to the region. Locally, there were occasional strong winds offshore and on high ground. The outer rainbands of Mangkhut are also edging closer to the coast of Guangdong.

Mangkhut has extensive circulation with high winds. As Mangkhut edges progressively closer to the vicinity of the Pearl River Estuary, the weather over the region will deteriorate rapidly around midnight. There will be heavy rain with squalls.

Adverse weather will prevail on Sunday with winds strengthening rapidly and frequent heavy rain and squalls. Under the influence of storm surge, a high water level of around 3.5 meters above chart datum is expected at Quarry Bay between 1pm and 5pm on Sunday, or about 2 meters above the normal tide heights. The high water level may cause severe flooding in low-lying areas.

The Observatory said people should stay away from the shoreline, and not to engage in water sports. The Observatory will issue the No.8 Gale or Storm Signal between 11pm tonight to 2am on Sunday.

Cathay Pacific Airways said in a statement on Saturday morning that it has canceled more than 400 flights between 2:30am on Sunday and 4am on Monday. The company warned of “serious disruptions” for air travelers as Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong. It called for passengers to check the flight status.

The Observatory issued a typhoon signal No. 1 at 10:20pm on Friday and a signal No. 3 at 4:20pm on Saturday.

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Temperature 4:30pm in Hong Kong Photo: Hong Kong Observatory
Typhoon Mangkhut at 4pm on Sept 15 Photo: Hong Kong Observatory