Tropical Storm Ma-on headed for Southeast China

BEIJING — Tropical Storm Ma-on gained strength as it headed toward Hong Kong and other parts of southeastern China on Wednesday after displacing thousands in the Philippines.

Several cities in Guangdong province have halted high-speed rail and ferry services and evacuated workers for offshore projects. Shenzhen Airport, a Chinese tech hub bordering Hong Kong, canceled all flights from 3 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The Hong Kong Observatory lifted its number 8 signal on Wednesday evening, warning that winds with average speeds of 63 kilometers per hour or more were expected. A No. 8 signal is usually given when a storm or storm is expected to hit Hong Kong.

The observatory also warned of flooding in low-lying areas and advised people to stay away from the shoreline, although Ma-on is not expected to have a direct impact on the southern China financial center with its population of 7.4 million.

The storm is expected to make landfall on the coast of Guangdong, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Hong Kong around noon Thursday, and weaken as it moves inland toward the Guangxi region, Yunnan province and northern Vietnam, China’s National Meteorological Center said. on her website.

The storm’s arrival comes as many parts of central and western China face severe drought caused by record-breaking temperatures for August, crops wither and drinking water supplies at risk.

In the main agricultural province of Sichuan, cloud seeding is used to promote rainfall. Hydroelectric power plants, which generate about 80% of the province’s electricity, have been operating at greatly reduced capacity, forcing the roll-out of power cuts and cuts in working hours at the factories.

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Ma-on weakened somewhat after passing through the mountainous northern provinces of the Philippines, where at least three people were injured by trees that had fallen from high winds. In the capital Manila, classes were suspended and government buildings closed.

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