[HONG KONG] Typhoon Nida swept through Hong Kong on Tuesday, shutting down most of the financial hub with gale-force winds and disrupting hundreds of flights, while low-lying areas were put on flood alert.
Hong Kong's first major typhoon this year brought gusts of more than 100 kmh after earlier making landfall in China's Guangdong province and prompted the observatory to issue an amber warning, signifying heavy rain, at 5.20am Hong Kong time (2120 GMT).
More than 150 flights were cancelled, the Airport Authority said, with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair warning none of their flights would be operating until 2 pm (0600 GMT) at the earliest. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport and 290 flights delayed.
Nida was moving gradually to the inland areas of Guangdong and winds near its centre had showed signs of weakening, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) announced that the morning trading in its securities market, including Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect trading, and derivatives market has been delayed due to the issuance of Typhoon Signal No. 8.
The morning trading session at the Hong Kong stock exchange will be suspended if the typhoon signal remains at 8 or higher at 9am local time (0100 GMT). The stock market will be shut for the rest of the day if a typhoon signal 8 is still in place by noon.
Streets were largely deserted and shops shuttered since Monday evening when the typhoon signal 8 was hoisted, prompting many people to leave work early.
Across the border, Guangdong province closed offices, factories and schools on Monday as it braced for Nida.
Last month, Typhoon Nepartak drove at least 420,000 Chinese from their homes and caused more than 7.1 billion yuan (S$1.5 billion) in losses in Fujian province alone.