Batten down the hatches, Super Typhoon Mangkhut, possibly the most powerful storm to ever threaten the city, is coming.
Forecasts from the Observatory have the storm tracking within at least 200 kilometers of the city on Sunday morning, though it’s still too early to determine whether Hong Kong will take a direct hit.
“Mangkhut’s extensive circulation will bring significantly deteriorating weather to Hong Kong on Sunday with frequent heavy squally showers,” warned the weather service.
“Seas will be very rough with swells and low-lying areas may be affected by storm surge.”
Hongkongers have started stocking up on food and supplies, with prices on some goods, such as rising amid the demand, according to the SCMP.
Currently with a maximum sustained wind at its center reaching 240 kilometers per hour, the fast-moving typhoon could be strongest to hit the city since records began, according to Observatory data.
The storm is currently bearing down on the Philippines and will move towards the vicinity of Luzon on Friday.
Thousands have began evacuating in seaside areas of the Philippine main island’s northern tip, where the storm is expected to make landfall early Saturday.
There, regional civil defence official Dante Balao, said he feared the toll on poor communities.
“It will bring destruction. They are the ones greatly affected. Even moderate winds can topple their houses,” he told AFP.
The storm is expected to remain in the category of super typhoon after entering the South China Sea on the weekend.
At a press briefing held this evening, senior science director at the Hong Kong Observatory Lee Shuk-ming warned residents to be ready, RTHK reports.
“Members of the public are advised to take appropriate defensive measures, and pay close attention to the latest news about the Manghut issued by the Observatory,” she said.