HONG KONG - A typhoon struck the south coast of China on Wednesday, forcing airlines to cancel flights and halting stock exchange trading in the financial center of Hong Kong after leaving a trail of destruction in the Philippines.
The Hong Kong weather observatory raised its No. 8 tropical cyclone signal early in the day, its third highest alert, but had lowered it by the afternoon as Typhoon Utor moved inland west of the territory.
Heavy rains and gale force winds lashed Hong Kong and uprooted trees, with heavy disruptions to shipping services and flights. Markets, schools and businesses closed for the day.
China's State Oceanic Administration issued a first-level emergency response late on Tuesday and fishing boats and other vessels were called back to port in western Guangdong.
Nearly 200 workers were rescued from an artificial island on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge as conditions deteriorated, local police said.