Hong Kong soaked but safe as Typhoon Nida is downgraded

Hong Kong (CNN)Fierce winds lashed Hong Kong in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but no major damage was reported as Typhoon Nida hit the city and moved onto mainland China.

Winds of up to 145 kilometers per hour (90 miles per hour) were reported in some parts of the city, according to the Hong Kong Observatory, which also warned of the potential risks of flooding.
More than 180 flights to or from Hong Kong’s airport were canceled, and bus, tram and ferry routes suspended.
The Observatory said Tuesday morning that Nida had “weakened into a severe tropical storm and is moving gradually to the inland areas of Guangdong.”
Hong Kong was drenched by Typhoon Nida but avoided severe damage.

The Observatory issued the year’s first No. 8 warning signal, the third-most severe, on Monday evening.
Speaking to reporters, an Observatory spokeswoman warned Hong Kongers “not to let their guard down” as the storm moved across the city.
“Places which have been sheltered before will become more exposed to high winds,” she said, adding that the potential for a higher warning signal could be raised “cannot be ruled out.”

Gusts of up to 145 kilometers (90 miles) per hour were recorded at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island, near the airport, while outlying Cheng Chau island was lashed by sustained 78 kilometer-per hour winds.
The MTR, Hong Kong’s subway, was only running a limited service, while most bus routes were suspended, and all ferry and tram services canceled.
“The authorities aren’t taking any chances,” said CNN’s Ivan Watson. “Hong Kong is used to these kinds of typhoons, and much of the city will likely be closed today.”
The Observatory’s warning was downgraded to a No. 3 strong wind signal early Tuesday afternoon, as the storm weakened and moved northwest away from Hong Kong.
Workers remove fallen tree branches from a street in eastern Hong Kong.

China on alert

As the storm proceeded across Hong Kong and makes landfall in southern China, many cities in the Pearl River Delta region were bracing for impact.
The China Meteorological Administration issued a typhoon red alert — the highest level of warning — on Monday, its first such alert of the year, with people in affected areas warned to stockpile up to three days worth of food.