Storm signal warnings were lowered from No. 8 to No. 3 in Hong Kong after Typhoon Utor moved away from the financial hub and made landfall on mainland China, near Yangjiang in western Guangdong province around 4 p.m. local time (4 a.m. EDT).
The Hong Kong Observatory said, in a message on its website, that the lowering of the storm signal indicated that mean wind speeds would drop to between 41 kilometers to 62 kilometers (25 miles to 38 miles) an hour. When the signal is at No. 8, mean wind speeds could be around 110 miles an hour.
The observatory said in its message that Utor is forecast to move northwest at about 14 kilometers (8 miles) an hour as it moves inland from western Guangdong. “Local winds are expected to weaken gradually,” according to the observatory but a lot of rain along the Chinese coast is expected. “There will be squally showers,” it said.
In Hong Kong, Utor lashed the city early Wednesday morning, forcing retail shops and restaurants to down shutters. “The typhoon has ruined our plans,” Bonnie Chen, a 24-year old administrator from China’s Guangzhou city on holiday with her family, told Bloomberg. “We are here in Central to do some shopping but most of the shops are closed and the streets are quiet.”
Nearly 110 fights were canceled and more than 200 were delayed owing to strong winds, and the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. canceled Wednesday's trading sessions in the securities and derivatives markets.
According to the South China Morning Post, Utor left the mega city largely unscathed. But one person, a 26-year-old woman, was reported injured in the typhoon, whose condition is now said to be stable.
The South China Morning Post reported that Utor is the first severe typhoon to approach the region in 13 months, and the fifth tropical cyclone of the year that has required a typhoon signal to be raised.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.