Chaos at air­port after typhoon hits city

The Myanmar Times - - World -

HORDES of an­gry pas­sen­gers stranded after Typhoon Nida pum­melled Hong Kong crowded the air­port yes­ter­day, des­per­ately seek­ing flights as the city emerges from lock­down while the storm swept across south­ern China.

Hun­dreds of flights were can­celled, schools and shops were shut, and the stock mar­ket closed for the day as the storm brought vi­o­lent winds and tor­ren­tial show­ers.

Gusts of 151 kilo­me­tres (94 miles) per hour whipped the city and rain lashed down dur­ing the night, leav­ing three peo­ple in­jured and a trail of fallen trees and torn-down scaf­fold­ing.

The storm trig­gered a Typhoon 8 sig­nal – the third-strong­est cat­e­gory – which was taken down a notch around mid­day yes­ter­day as winds eased and the typhoon passed onto main­land China.

But as the city’s de­serted streets be­gan to come to life as buses and train ser­vices re­sumed, Chek Lap Kok air­port was in­un­dated with stranded pas­sen­gers.

An air­port author­ity spokesper­son said only 500 flights would run be­tween 6am and mid­night yes­ter­day. On a nor­mal day, the air­port would han­dle 1100 flights.

More than 150 flights were can­celled on Au­gust 1 as Nida ap­proached, leav­ing stranded pas­sen­gers to sleep on the floor in the de­par­ture hall.

Hong Kong’s flag­ship car­rier Cathay Pa­cific and its sub­sidiary Drag­o­nair can­celled all of their flights in and out of Hong Kong for 16 hours.

Se­cu­rity guards kept pas­sen­gers with­out flights from reach­ing checkin desks yes­ter­day.

Some com­plained that air­line staff had not given them food vouch­ers or emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion de­spite lengthy waits.

“The air­line was giv­ing in­con-

sis­tent in­for­ma­tion. There was no an­nounce­ment what­so­ever about ac­com­mo­da­tion, food or the weather sit­u­a­tion. It’s chaotic,” one pas­sen­ger told lo­cal chan­nel TVB.

Another pas­sen­ger from the Philippines said he had not been pro­vided with food or ac­com­mo­da­tion, de­spite be­ing at the air­port since 7pm on Au­gust 1. His flight was resched­uled for 10pm yes­ter­day.

After sweep­ing past Hong Kong, Nida made land­fall early yes­ter­day in the south­ern Chi­nese city of Shen­zhen, with winds still blow­ing at up to 151kph. –

Photo: AFP

Pas­sen­gers queue up as they wait to find out the sta­tus of their flights after Typhoon Nida caused chaos at the in­ter­na­tional air­port in Hong Kong yes­ter­day.

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