Tropical Storm Hato is set to strengthen into a typhoon before striking near Hong Kong, and the storm is already causing disruptions to flights and area attractions.
According to the latest forecast from Accuweather, the storm is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 typhoon before making landfall in southeastern China near Hong Kong late Wednesday morning, local time. Landfall is expected to be between Macau and Yangjiang, bringing high winds with gusts of 100 mph, flooding and rain to the area. Travelers in the area should be prepared for possible road closures, damaged bridges and evacuations, including in the areas of Guangzhou, Yangjiang, Zhenjiang, Nanning and Wenshan.
Cathay Pacific has said that a majority of its flights between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 23, are cancelled as a result of the storm. The airline has waived rebooking and rerouting fees, as well as cancellation and refund charges, and is strongly advising customers to amend their travel plans. Rebooking and rerouting requests must be made on or before August 24 and before departure on bookings for August 23 – 24. Revised travel must take place on or before September 15. No-show passengers are not eligible for the waiver. Customers can check the airline’s Flight Status page for the latest information on their flight.
American Airlines and United Airlines have issued change fee waivers for customers traveling through Hong Kong if they bought their ticket by August 22 and are scheduled to travel August 22- 23, with rebooked travel to take place through August 26 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).
Ferries and Attractions
According to Reuters, ferries and other transport services are expected to be suspended in the city. Financial markets, schools, businesses and non-essential government services could close when the city’s third-highest tropical cyclone warning signal is issued, which could happen around midnight local time.
Additionally, tonight’s Hong Kong Pulse Light Show has been cancelled.