Deadly typhoon bears down on HK
Updated: 2006-05-17 11:39
Typhoon Chanchu roared toward Hong Kong and China's
southern coast, just days after killing nearly 40 people and leaving thousands
homeless in the Philippines.
A woman braves gusty
wind outside a shopping mall at a tourist district in Hong Kong May 17,
2006. Hong Kong, Taiwan Island and provinces on the Chinese southern
coast were on alert on Wednesday as Typhoon Chanchu churned northward
after tearing across the Philippines killing 37 people. The Hong Kong
Observatory issued a strong wind signal number three, which means that
winds with mean speeds of 41-62 kmh (25.5-38.5 mph) were expected in the
former British colony. [Reuters]
The killer storm -- the strongest ever reported in the
South China Sea in May -- has caused the cancellation of a handful of flights
and ferry services as the region battened down to prepare for the storm.
More than 180,000 people have been evacuated from coastal areas to safe
places in south China's Guangdong Province as typhoon Chanchu, the first
tropical storm of this year, is approaching.
The province had called back 25,219 ships operating on sea by Tuesday night,
according to the provincial disaster relief office on
Chanchu was expected to pass Hong Kong later Wednesday,
but its eye was not expected to hit the territory, the Hong Kong Observatory
Chanchu was about 250 kilometers (150 miles) southeast of Hong Kong at 0200
GMT and moving north-northeast at 20 kilometers an hour, headed for the
Guangdong coast, it said.
Hong Kong ordered kindergartens to close Wednesday along
with schools for mentally handicapped children. Some ferry services to outlying
islands were suspended.