Hong Kong (CNN) — Hong Kong remained on high alert on Friday morning as Typhoon Haima edged closer, causing the city’s weather Observatory to issue a Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 8.
The warning calls for tropical storm winds of 63 to 117 kph (39 to 73 mph) and advises residents to secure windows, reinforce them with shutters, and remain indoors. The No. 8 Storm Signal is expected to remain in force most of the day in Hong Kong.
So far, the Home Affairs Department has opened 20 temporary shelters in various districts, with a total of 59 people seeking refuge at the shelters. The stock exchange (HKEX) is also closed.
According to the Hong Kong Airport Authority, 689 passenger flights have been canceled and delayed as of 6:30 a.m. There have been no reports of flooding or landslides yet.
At 6 a.m. local time, Typhoon Haima was centered about 250 kilometers (155 miles) east-southeast of Hong Kong. It is forecast to move northwest or north-northwest at about 25 kph (15.5 mph) towards the vicinity east of the Pearl River Estuary.
According to the present forecast track, winds and rain will steadily increase through the morning hours. Haima will be closest to Hong Kong around midday local time (midnight ET), skirting about 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the east of the territory, and making landfall in Guangdong province, China.
Top: As Typhoon Haima edged closer, pedestrians walk with umbrellas during a heavy downpour in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district. Photo: CNN
Inset: An umbrella-toting tourist walks on the observation deck of a shopping mall during rain squallss in Hong Kong’s Central district. Photo: CNN
By CNN’s Emiko Jozuka