For the latest updates about Super Typhoon Saola, please read this article.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the Gale or Storm Signal No. 8 (T8) in the early hours of Friday morning as Super Typhoon Saola approaches the city, and said it would remain in place for most of Friday.

“Saola will be rather close to Hong Kong tonight and tomorrow morning, skirting within 100 km south of Hong Kong,” said authorities, adding that they may issue higher tropical cyclone warning signals, depending on changes in local winds. The observatory said that there will be “heavy squally showers and violent winds” and that the storm surge could affect the water levels in low-lying coastal areas tonight, causing serious flooding.

Officials earlier said that there is a likelihood of Saola being as powerful as Typhoon Mangkhut: “If Saola skirts south of the territory as suggested by present forecast track, the maximum water level induced by the storm surge may be similar to that when Mangkhut hit Hong Kong in 2018,” said the observatory on Thursday evening.

Saola will maintain its Super Typhoon status on Friday, and is predicted to weaken to a Severe Typhoon by Saturday when it is closest to Hong Kong. Current predictions show that the tropical cyclone will be downgraded to Severe Tropical Storm status by Sunday, as it moves away from the territory.

A screenshot from the Hong Kong Observatory showing the track of Typhoon Saola with respect to Hong Kong.
The track of Typhoon Saola with respect to Hong Kong (Screenshot from Hong Kong Observatory)

Will schools be open?

The Education Bureau has said that all schools in the territory — kindergartens, primary, secondary, and special schools — will be closed on September 1.

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How will public transport be affected?

The MTR announced that its rail services are running less frequently than normal, with 10-20 minutes intervals between departures. In addition, the MTR buses will not operate during this time and its in-town check-in service at Hong Kong Station is suspended. All ferries are cancelled once a T8 signal is hoisted, while bus operators across the city will operate in a limited capacity.

Read our explainer on Hong Kong’s tropical cyclone warning signals and our guide on how to prepare for a typhoon in the city.

Header image credits: RyanJLane via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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