Hong Kong Cancels Scores of Flights as Tropical Storm Koinu Draws Nearer

HONG KONG (AP) -- Scores of flights in Hong Kong were canceled Sunday as Tropical Storm Koinu neared the southern Chinese city after leaving one dead and over 300 injured in Taiwan.

Koinu was expected to skirt about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Hong Kong on Sunday night, dumping heavy showers, the Hong Kong Observatory said. The storm is forecast to move across the coastal waters of neighboring Guangdong province on Sunday and Monday.

Koinu was packing maximum winds of 90 kph (55 mph) and gusts of up to 122 kph (76 mph), according to the observatory.

Hong Kong on Sunday raised its No. 8 storm signal, effectively shutting the city down with shops and schools closing and reducing frequencies of public transport.

Scores of flights to and from Hong Kong were canceled and the main Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge closed temporarily, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Koinu had earlier battered Taiwan with heavy winds and strong rain but later the typhoon had weakened into a tropical storm on its way to southern China.

It comes a month after southern China and Hong Kong were lashed by Typhoon Saola, which triggered Hong Kong's highest storm signal on a scale of 11. A week later, Guangdong province and Hong Kong were hit with the heaviest torrential rains in almost 140 years.