Hong Kong’s third-highest storm warning will remain until dawn

Tropical cyclone Kompasu halted after-hours trading on the Hong Kong stock market and prompted the territory to raise its third highest warning, which will remain in place until dawn on Wednesday. Hong Kong May Raise Storm Signal No. 8 as Kompasu ApproachesHong Kong

The storm, which closed schools and suspended after-hours trading on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., was about 366 kilometers (227 miles) south-southeast moving west at 25 kilometers per hour, at 11:45 p.m. local time Tuesday, according to the Hong Kong Observatory. The weather agency issued its No. 8 warning earlier. 

“According to its present forecast track, Kompasu will be closest to Hong Kong early” Wednesday, the observatory said in a statement. “The Gale or Storm Signal No. 8 will remain in force at least before sunrise.” 

The stock market will scrap pre-market trading if the signal, which means winds could reach at least 63 kph, or a black rainstorm warning is in place at 7 a.m., the exchange operator said on its website. If the alert is still up after 9 a.m., the morning session will be cut as well. The entire day will scrapped if the warnings aren’t dropped by 12 p.m. 

Yantian Port in neighboring Shenzhen had earlier said it was halting container pickup and drop-off operations. Gaming hub Macau also issued a No. 8 warning, which will stay in effect until Wednesday morning, as well as a blue storm surge warning, its weather office said. Schools in the region are closed. 

It’s unlikely Kompasu will make a direct hit on Hong Kong. The current forecast has its eye passing well to the south and striking Hainan island, then making its final landfall in Vietnam on Thursday, said Jason Nicholls, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. Its large girth will ensure at least 5 to 8 centimeters (2 to 3 inches) of rain will fall on Hong Kong, where showers have already begun, through Wednesday, causing some urban flooding. 

“The main impact in Hong Kong will be the rainfall,” Nicholls said. “I am not sure winds are going to be an issue.” At their worst, gusts could probably reach 80 to 97 kilometers per hour. 

Kompasu is the second tropical storm to affect Hong Kong in three days, after Lionrock brought flooding to some low-lying areas as it pounded the city on the weekend. Potential damage from Kompasu could be more severe than Lionrock based on its current track and intensity forecasts, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam wrote in a note Monday. 

Lionrock also soaked Hainan and Vietnam, which means Kompasu’s effects could be worse there as well, said Nicholls.

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