The approaching typhoon Saola has raised major concerns in southern China and Hong Kong. The storm will bring “strong winds, torrential rain and huge waves,” warned party leader Huang Kunming of southern China’s Guangdong province on Friday.

There is a “high risk of serious disasters”. The authorities should do everything “to win the tough fight against the typhoon,” the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post quoted the politician as saying.

The Chinese Weather Service warned that “Saola” could become the strongest typhoon to hit the region since 1949. The authorities had already declared the highest warning level “red” the day before.

Financial metropolis is preparing

The weather service in Hong Kong also predicted “heavy rain and strong winds” on Friday. The center of the typhoon will “come very close” to the Chinese special administrative region between Friday evening and Saturday morning. According to this, the storm on the southern Chinese coast would only pass around 50 kilometers south of Hong Kong.

The financial metropolis first announced the storm warning level “T8” on Friday morning. Later, the warning level could be further increased. Schools, kindergartens and most offices remained closed. The stock exchange in the Asian financial center also stopped trading. Almost all flights and express train connections have been cancelled. Disneyland in Hong Kong remained closed.

Schools and kindergartens also remained closed in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong. The citizens were asked by SMS to stop working from the afternoon and if possible not to go outside.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that 27,000 fishing boats returned to Guangdong ports to shelter from the storm.