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Hong Kong flights cancelled as typhoon Nida approaches
[HONG KONG] Hong Kong hunkered down Monday as Typhoon Nida swirled towards the coast of southern China, with more than a hundred flights cancelled and schools closed.
Authorities are expected to raise a "T8" storm signal - the third-highest - in the evening as the storm edges closer to the city, packing winds of 120 kilometres (75 miles) per hour.
Flagship carrier Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair cancelled all of their flights in and out of the southern Chinese city for 16 hours.
"Typhoon Nida moves closer to Hong Kong," a statement jointly issued by the two airlines said Monday.
"Flight departures and arrivals at Hong Kong International Airport Monday will be suspended from 10 pm until 2 pm" on Tuesday.
That will include more than 100 flights, a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said.
Nida will be the first major storm of the season to hit Hong Kong, which is often battered by tropical cyclones during the summer.
The storm is expected to hit the coast of southern China after it brought strong winds and torrential rains to the northern Philippines over the weekend.
Hong Kong authorities have shut kindergartens and special needs learning institutions on Monday.
"Local winds are expected to strengthen significantly around dusk," said a typhoon bulletin on the city's weather observatory website.
"There will be squalls, heavy rain and rough seas after sunset. There may be flooding in low-lying areas."