Published on 24 Jul 2012 Sections ,

Dozens injured as Typhoon Vicente hits Hong Kong

Weather Presenter

A powerful typhoon hit Hong Kong in the early hours of Tuesday morning injuring over 120 people and bringing business to a standstill.

Fallen tree on a car in Hong Kong

Typhoon Vicente triggered the Hong Kong Observatory to issue its highest number 10 hurricane warning for the first time in more than a decade – the last time being in 1999.

The government said that 129 people had been injured during the night, with 72 admitted to hospital. Flying debris struck several people in the central business district and trees were toppled over by sustained winds of around 70mph, with stronger gusts.

Transport was also hit hard with dozens of flights cancelled or delayed because of the storm, with hundreds of passengers forced to sleep on airport seats or floors.

Ferry services linking Hong Kong with Kowloon and other outlying islands were also suspended and train services rescheduled as the storm lashed the area.

Whilst the worst of the storm had passed by day break local time, the normally bustling business district resembled a ghost town with banks and offices closed. The Hong Kong stock exchange abandoned trading in the morning and only resumed at lunchtime.

Clean-up crews have been out in force in an attempt to get things back to normal, but have struggled to remove fallen trees and branches from major roadways and overhead rail cables.

Although Vicente is no longer a typhoon, the remnants of the storm will push westwards across southern China and into northern Vietnam during Wednesday.

The winds will continue to ease as the storm experiences friction from the rugged landscape it travels over, but it will still bring potentially flooding rains during the next two days.

In the northern hemisphere most tropical cyclones occur between June and November, with a peak in September. However, in the north west Pacific, it’s not unusual to have storms form at other times of the year.

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