SHENZHEN: The eight-day visiting programme by a delegation of Malaysian journalists to China was disrupted due to Typhoon Mangkhut which is likely to hit the port city in Guangdong province later this evening.
The delegation was initially scheduled to visit the Shekou Free Trade Area and Shenzhen Research Institute of Big Data today, but the programme was cancelled by the organisers for safety reason.
This followed the safety precaution issued by the Shenzhen Municipal Government, requiring all companies and schools to stop their operations.
Heavy downpours and strong winds in the morning also indicated that the super typhoon was nearing, prompting most people to stay indoors.
According to a news portal, a red typhoon alert had been issued in Shenzhen, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Jiangmen, while the cities of Huizhou, Foshan and Guangzhou had issued orange typhoon warnings.
Organised by the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the trip from Sept 15 to Sept 22 would cover three provinces in China namely Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Beijing.
The delegation of nine journalists, accompanied by an attache from the embassy, arrived in Shenzhen on Saturday afternoon.
An observation on the street on Saturday evening, showed that shops were taped with a big X on their glass window panes as a safety measure, as well as to minimise damages.
On the same day, Macau News Agency reported that over 150 flights travelling to and from Macau, including AirAsia's, had been cancelled due to Typhoon Mangkhut.
Citing the Macau International Airport website, the agency reported that AirAsia had announced that it would cancel all flights scheduled to depart from Macau, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shantou between 2am and 11.59pm on Sunday.
Last Wednesday, Shenzhen Meteorological Observatory on the Shenzhen Government Online portal, said Typhoon Mangkhut would probably be the strongest typhoon in the western Pacific this year.
It said based on Mangkhut's route, which is stable, the typhoon would have a strong impact on Shenzhen on Sunday and Monday.
Deemed as a monster storm, the typhoon hit the northern Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain. It is expected to churn towards Hong Kong and other parts of southern China, including Shenzhen. — Bernama