Ports in Hong Kong and China’s Guangdong province have halted operations since yesterday evening as super typhoon Saola expects to make landfall later today (1 September).
Hongkong International Terminals, part of Hutchison Ports and COSCO Shipping Ports, said that gating of empty and laden containers had been suspended since 5pm local time on 31 August.
Another of Hutchison’s box terminal operators, Yantian International Container Terminal, based in Shenzhen in Guangdong province, said that it had suspended gate services from 4pm local time on 31 August, due to Chinese officials raising the “red” signal for Typhoon Saola.
Nansha Port, the only deepwater container port on the western part of the Pearl River Delta, cautioned customers that strong winds and heavy rains are expected from today to tomorrow (2 September), and that it had suspended gate services from 4pm local time on 31 August.
The port’s advisory said: “In order to ensure the safety of cargo and avoid cargo damage caused by typhoons, our customers are kindly requested to expedite the movement of containers and cargo in the port. We will pay close attention to the dynamics of the typhoon, and relevant information will be released via email or our WeChat official account.”
China’s meteorological services have predicted that Typhoon Saola will bring wind forces of over grade 17, at speeds of 58 metres/second.
Many businesses in Hong Kong and Guangdong province have come to a standstill as authorities advised people to stay indoors, while schools have been closed. The Chinese government has warned that Saola may be the strongest typhoon to hit the Pearl River Delta since 1949.