HK, China brace for Typhoon Nida

Hong Kong and southern China hunkered down yesterday as Typhoon Nida swirled towards the region, with hundreds of flights cancelled, schools closed and ferries halted.

Hong Kong raised a "T8" storm signal - the third-highest - as Nida edged closer, packing winds of 130kmh.

Guangzhou, capital of neighbouring Guangdong province where Nida is expected to make landfall today, issued a red storm alert, with schools and outdoor work suspended.

Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair cancelled all their flights in and out of Hong Kong for 16 hours, from 10pm last night.

That will mean more than 100 flights, said a Cathay spokesman.

Hong Kong authorities shut kindergartens and special needs learning institutions yesterday.

Ferries between Hong Kong and the gambling strip of Cotai in Macau have been suspended.

"There will be squalls, heavy rain and rough seas," said a weather bulletin. "There may be flooding in low-lying areas."

Those living in the storm's projected path when it reaches mainland China have been told to prepare three days' worth of food and other essentials, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the National Commission for Disaster Reduction.

The cities of Zhuhai and Shanwei in Guangdong province have also issued red alerts. More than 220 flights out of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai airports were to be cancelled.

Nearly 2,000 workers constructing the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge were evacuated.

Nida brought strong winds and torrential rains to the northern Philippines over the weekend.

- AFP.

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