Saturday, August 23, 2008

Traffic suspended as Typhoon Nuri edges closer to Macao

The Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau hoisted the gale signal No. 8 at 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday as Typhoon Nuri gathered speed and moved closer to Macao.

The bureau said that by 2:00 p.m. local time, Nuri was 110 km east off the coast of Macao, with a max wind speed of the center at 118 km per hour, and was sweeping northwest or northwest by west at a speed of 15 km per hour toward the estuary of the Pearl River.

The tropical cyclone has brought strong winds and heavy showers to the island city. The bureau's meteorological station recorded a wind speed of up to 110 km per hour in the afternoon, and it forecast that there will be flooding in some low-lying areas.

Bad weather has caused the suspension of most of the city's public traffic. Local flagship airline Air Macao and Taiwan's Eva Air announced the cancellation of all the flights scheduled to depart Macao this afternoon. Other flights at the Macao International Airport were either delayed or canceled.

Ferry services between Macao and Hong Kong were also temporarily closed after 7:45 a.m. on Friday, and dozens of passengers were stranded at Macao's Outer Harbor this afternoon.

As for the land transport, the city's two major bus companies were forced to suspend their operations at 1:20 p.m. due to the Typhoon.

With weather conditions deteriorating, most of the employees of local companies and government departments and local students took their extra leave, and exams scheduled to take place at local schools and institutions were canceled after the hoisting of the gale signal No. 8 this afternoon.

Source: Xinhua

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