June 12, 2017 / 10:14 AM / 2 months ago

Hong Kong and south China brace for Typhoon Merbok

People look on at a waterfront as typhoon Merbok moves near Hong Kong, China June 12, 2017.Bobby Yip

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Typhoon Merbok edged towards Hong Kong and the China's south coast on Monday, bringing strong winds and rough seas, with the Hong Kong observatory raising its third-highest typhoon warning signal.

Financial markets, schools, businesses and non-essential government services close when the signal, No. 8, or above is hoisted.

But business and financial markets were not seriously affected in Hong Kong as the signal was hoisted at 5:20 p.m. (0920 GMT), after hours for many businesses.

The weather observatory said the typhoon was expected to make landfall within 50 km (30 miles) of Hong Kong later in the night, though early indications suggest the typhoon would not be a major one with wind speeds of 63 kph forecast.

China's national observatory issued a blue alert for Merbok earlier on Monday, the state Xinhua news agency reported, the least serious level on its four-tier, colour-coded weather-warning system.

There will be no trading in Hong Kong's financial markets on Tuesday morning if the typhoon signal remains at 8 or higher at 9 a.m. (0100 GMT). Trading will be suspended for the whole day if the storm signal is still at 8 or higher at noon.

Reporting by James Pomfret and Hong Kong newsroom

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