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Hong Kong shutting down over approaching tropical storm

HONG KONG (AP) — The Asian financial center of Hong Kong is shutting down as Tropical Storm Wipha approaches, bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 95 kph (60 mph) in some areas.

The Hong Kong Observatory says it is planning to issue the Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 8 Wednesday as winds continue to strengthen.

Classes were canceled and the observatory advised members of the public with long or difficult trips home or who live on outlying islands to begin their journeys immediately. It said arrangements were being made for government workers to head home early.

The observatory said Wipha's center will pass about 300 kilometers (186 miles) southwest of Hong Kong on Wednesday before barreling into the island province of Hainan and parts of southeastern China, Vietnam and Laos.

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