Hong Kong warned residents to stay indoors and halted public transport on Monday as Typhoon Vicente skirted the island, packing winds in excess of 90kmh.
Officials said the tropical storm was moving at 20kmh toward the southern Chinese coast and would pass 150km south-west of Hong Kong overnight.
The city's port, ferry services and underground rail system closed or ran at reduced capacity as authorities raised the typhoon warning to eight, two below the most severe level.
School classes and hospital outpatient clinics were suspended until further notice.
The Hong Kong Observator posted this message:
ropical Cyclone Bulletin
Here is the latest Tropical Cyclone Bulletin issued by the Hong Kong Observatory.
The No. 8 Northeast Gale or Storm Signal is in force.
This means that winds with mean speeds of 63 kilometres per hour or more are expected from the northeast quarter.
At 7 p.m., Typhoon Vicente was centred about 160 kilometres south of Hong Kong (near 20.9 degrees north 114.3 degrees east) and is forecast to move west-northwest at about 20 kilometres per hour in the general direction of the coast of western Guangdong.
Vicente continues to move steadily towards the western coast of Guangdong. Local winds are strengthening further generally, with gales over offshore waters and on high ground. On its present forecast track, Vicente will skirt around 150 kilometres southwest of Hong Kong tonight and tomorrow morning. The Gale or Storm Signal No. 8 is expected to remain in force overnight.
In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Waglan Island, Sai Kung and Chek Lap Kok were 87, 61 and 45 kilometres per hour respectively.
(Precautionary Announcements with No. 8 Signal)
1. Complete all precautions in your home. Lock all windows and doors, fit bars into position and insert reinforced shutters and gates if they are available. Adhesive tape fixed to large window-panes in exposed positions will reduce damage by broken glass. Storm water drains should be cleared of leaves and rubbish.
2. Park your car where it is least likely to be damaged.
3. Do not stand near windows on the exposed side of your home. Move all furniture and valuables away from these areas. Make sure you have a safe place to shelter, should windows be broken.
4. Since seas are very rough, you are advised to stay away from the shoreline and not to engage in water sports.
5. Flights at Hong Kong International Airport may be affected by the weather. Please contact your airline for the latest flight information before departing for the airport.
6. Owners of neon signs are reminded that the electricity supply to all neon signs should be switched off now.
7. Please listen to radio or watch TV for the latest weather information broadcast at the 15th, 30th, 45th and 58th minute of each hour. You can also browse the Hong Kong Observatory's web site for the information.
Earlier the storm hit the mainland China:
Typhoon Vicente, strengthened from a tropical storm, brought fierce winds and downpours to coastal regions in south China on Monday morning.
The municipal meteorological center in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, issued a red alert for the rainstorms, the highest warning level in China's four-tier color-coded weather warning system.
Heavy rains and thunderstorms started to hit Hainan and Guangdong provinces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on Monday morning.
It is expected that Vicente will land between the city of Taishan in Guangdong and the city of Wenchang in Hainan late Monday night or Tuesday morning, according to the provincial meteorological station of Hainan.
Vicente developed into a strong tropical storm at 5 p.m. Sunday, when it was located 520 km southeast of the city of Zhanjiang in Guangdong.
Powerful rainstorms are expected to hit Guangdong and Hainan between Monday and Wednesday and winds of up to 100 km per hour may sweep through coastal areas.
Train services between Beijing and Hainan's city of Sanya, as well as services between the province's city of Haikou and the cities of Shanghai, Changsha, Xi'an and Chengdu have been rescheduled.