Tropical Storm Ma-on makes landfall in southern China

HONG KONG — Tropical Storm Ma-on made landfall in southern China’s Guangdong province on Thursday after bringing rain and high winds to Hong Kong, where the stock market was closed for the morning session due to the storm.

Residents of coastal areas around the town of Maoming were asked to stay away from the coast on Thursday morning as the typhoon arrived at 10:30 AM (0230 GMT).

Ma-on picked up sustained winds of 118 kilometers (73 miles) per hour and moved slowly northwest at about 25 kilometers (15 miles) per hour, the Guangdong Meteorological Public Service Center said. It noted that the storm made landfall as a typhoon, but was getting weaker.

The storm was estimated to be about 380 kilometers (236 miles) west of Hong Kong as of 2:00 p.m. (0600 GMT), according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

Ma-on is expected to weaken as it moves inland toward the Guangxi region, Yunnan province and northern Vietnam.

The Hong Kong government said one person was injured and there were reports of flooding and a fallen tree. About 140 people had sought refuge in temporary shelters in the city, a government press release said. In any case, schools were closed all morning.

On Thursday morning, the Hong Kong Observatory lowered its typhoon warning signal No. 8 to a No. 3 signal, warning of high winds between 41 and 62 km/h (25.4 and 38.5 mph).

Hong Kong Scholarships & Clearing Ltd., the operator of the city’s exchange, said in a statement it slowed trading in stocks and derivatives during the morning session. Trading resumes at 1pm

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In Guangdong, several cities 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.

Authorities in the Philippines reported at least three deaths and four injuries, mainly after being hit by falling trees after the storm swept across the northern part of the country earlier this week.

More than 10,000 people were displaced and public schools and government offices were closed for two days in Manila and several remote provinces due to the gust of wind and heavy rainfall.

Ma-on, which means “horse saddle” in Chinese, is hitting China as many areas have experienced severe drought due to record temperatures that have withered crops and reduced electricity and drinking water supplies.


Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in Manila contributed.

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