The Observatory hoisted the T3 storm signal at 6:20pm, as tropical cyclone Hato edges towards the city. The T8 signal is expected before midnight, unless the storm changes direction or weakens.

UPDATE: T8 signal raised: Typhoon Hato set to thrash Hong Kong following record breaking heat

Hato at 4:15pm on Tuesday. Photo: HKO.

The storm is expected to be closet to Hong Kong on Wednesday, and may come within 100km of the city.

Photo: HKO.

“With Hato edging closer to the coast of Guangdong, the local weather will deteriorate tonight and there will be heavy squally showers tomorrow. As the astronomical high tide will occur tomorrow morning, there may be flooding in low-lying areas. Members of the public should take all precautions against strong winds and flooding as early as possible,” the Observatory said.

Photo: HKO webcams at 4:15pm. Photo: HKO.

The approaching storm was responsible for high levels of pollution recorded this week, the Environmental Protection Department said.

“Light winds hindered the dispersion of air pollutants formed during yesterday and led to higher than normal pollution level in the morning. The intense sunshine enhances photochemical smog activities and the formation of ozone, resulting in high ozone concentrations in the Pearl River Delta region,” the department said.

Monday was also the city’s hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures of up to 37.7 degrees Celsius observed.

Temperatures on Tuesday reached highs of 30 degrees Celsius.

Earlier on Tuesday, dozens of flights from Europe and North America were delayed. Some long haul flights, such as Cathay Pacific’s London and Brisbane routes, were cancelled.

Most flights to and from the city scheduled between 6am and 6pm on Wednesday are also cancelled.

“The safety of our passengers and crew has always been our top priority. We understand that the flight disruptions are likely to cause inconvenience and we are trying very hard to provide alternative flight arrangements for affected passengers,” a Cathay Pacific spokesperson said.

If hurricane force winds sustain speeds greater than 118km/hr and gusts exceed 200km/hr, the Observatory will issue the T10 signal.

”List of government heat shelters opened on Tuesday night“

Hong Kong Districts:

Central and Western –
Sai Ying Pun Community Complex Community Hall
3/F, Sai Ying Pun Community Complex
2 High Street, Sai Ying Pun

Eastern/Wan Chai –
Causeway Bay Community Centre
Waiting Lobby, 3/F, 7 Fook Yum Road, Causeway Bay

Kowloon Districts:

Kowloon City –
Hung Hom Community Hall
Multi-purpose Room, 1/F, Kowloon City Government Offices
42 Bailey Street, Hung Hom

Kwun Tong –
Lam Tin (West) Estate Community Centre
71 Kai Tin Road, Lam Tin

Sham Shui Po –
Shek Kip Mei Community Hall
G/F, Block 42, Shek Kip Mei Estate
Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po

Wong Tai Sin –
Tsz Wan Shan (South) Estate Community Centre
Hall, G/F, 45 Wan Wah Street, Tsz Wan Shan

Yau Tsim Mong –
Henry G Leong Yaumatei Community Centre
60 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei

New Territories Districts:

Kwai Tsing –
Kwai Shing Community Hall
Podium, Block 6, Kwai Shing West Estate, Kwai Chung

North –
Cheung Wah Community Hall
Cheung Wah Estate, Fanling

Sha Tin –
Lung Hang Estate Community Centre
Lung Hang Estate, Sha Tin

Tai Po –
Tai Po Community Centre
2 Heung Sze Wui Street, Tai Po

Tsuen Wan –
Lei Muk Shue Community Hall
G/F, Hong Shue House, Lei Muk Shue Estate, Tsuen Wan

Tuen Mun –
Butterfly Bay Community Centre
Butterfly Estate (near Tip Sum House), Tuen Mun

Yuen Long –
Long Ping Community Hall
Long Ping Estate, Yuen Long

Yuen Long –
Tin Yiu Community Centre
Tin Yiu Estate, Tin Shui Wai

Photo: HKO.

Taiwan has activated its disaster prevention system, with Hato expected to directly threaten the southeastern county of Taitung.

Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.