Published July 24, 2012
HONG KONG – A powerful typhoon slammed the Chinese territory of Hong Kong on Tuesday, injuring dozens, disrupting communications and bringing business to a standstill in one of the world's leading financial centers.
Typhoon Vincente made landfall at 4 a.m. (2000 GMT Monday), after the Hong Kong Observatory issued its No. 10 hurricane signal — the highest — for the first time since 1999.
By early morning, wind speeds that had reached around 140 kph (88 mph) moderated to 59 kph (37 mph), and the observatory lowered its signal, though still warning the territory's residents of strong gales.
The government said that 118 people had been injured during the night, including 52 admitted to hospitals. Flying debris struck several people in the central business district and subway stations around the territory were converted into temporary shelters to accommodate dozens of stranded passengers.
At daybreak, the normally bustling Central district resembled a ghost town, with the stock market and major banks closed, and businesses shuttered.
Dozens of flights at Hong Kong airport were cancelled or delayed, and ferry services linking Hong Kong island, with Kowloon, the New Territories and outlying islands were suspended.
Throughout the morning, cleanup crews struggled to remove fallen trees and branches from major roadways. Some flooding was reported in the New Territories.
After smashing through Hong Kong, Vincente headed into China's Guangdong province. The official Xinhua News Agency said nine flights were canceled at Zhuhai Airport on Monday evening, with heavy rain falling in the region. Train services in the region were rescheduled because of the storm.