Typhoon Mangkhut at 1am on Sept 16 Photo: HK Observatory

The Hong Kong Observatory issued a No. 8 Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal at 1:10am on Sunday as super typhoon Mangkhut is very close to Hong Kong.

This means that winds with mean speeds of 63 kilometers per hour or more 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 1am, Mangkhut was centered about 410 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong (near 19.7 degrees north 117.0 degrees east) and is forecast to move west-northwest at about 30 kilometers per hour 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 about 3.5 meters or more above chart datum is expected at the Victoria Harbour between 2pm and 6pm on Sunday; whereas a high water level of about 4.0 meters or more above chart datum is expected at Tai O between 3 pm and 8pm on Sunday. The high water level may cause severe flooding in low-lying areas.

In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Tate’s Cairn, Waglan Island and Sai Kung were 73, 58 and 49 kilometers per hour with maximum gusts 92, 65 and 72 kilometers per hour respectively.

The Observatory said people should stay away from the shoreline, and not to engage in water sports.

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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Read: Monster storm Mangkhut could cause massive destruction

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