Tens of thousands of people were evacuated as a powerful typhoon thundered into southern China yesterday after shutting down the bustling financial centre of Hong Kong and sinking a cargo ship.
Typhoon Utor’s torrential rain and 90mph winds forced the closure of schools, offices, shopping centres and building sites in cities along its path across Guangdong province.
More than 60,000 people were evacuated in the city of Maoming, while another 98,000 were moved to safety to the south on the island province of Hainan, where 26,000 fishing boats were also ordered to shelter in harbours.
In Hong Kong, offices, schools and courts were shut and the stock market halted trading, bringing an eerie calm to the normally bustling city. More than 350 flights were cancelled or delayed and bus and commuter ferry services were also curtailed.