Hong Kong’s port and airport closed as Typhoon Hato makes landfall


Hong Kong and its world-leading airline and container shipping hubs were in shutdown mode today as the city was battered by Typhoon Hato.

As the city awoke this morning the storm was given a danger level of No. 10 by Hong Kong Observatory - the highest possible category and only the 15th time the No 10 signal has been issued since 1946.

By 2.10pm local time the signal was downgraded to No.8, but not before Hato had lashed Hong Kong with heavy rains and winds, causing substantial flooding and damage to buildings before drifting into southern China and the Pearl River Delta.

Hong Kong’s marine department which administers the city’s port – ranked the world’s fifth largest container shipping complex by volume in 2016 - recorded no ocean-going vessel arrivals today.

“The typhoon is almost a head on and everything is closed,” a spokesman for OOCL told Lloyd’s Loading List earlier today.

Hong Kong’s schools, its stock exchange and Hong Kong International Airport - the world’s largest international freight hub - were closed for most of the day. HKIA was not expected to resume operations fully until tomorrow.

Neither Cathay Pacific or HKIA were able to respond to queries, but local media claimed there had been hundreds of flight cancellations by airlines over the last 24 hours.

At least 320 flights operated by Cathay Pacific Airways, Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Airlines scheduled to take off or land between 6am and 5pm today were reported to have been among the cancellations.