BEIJING - A typhoon that killed four people in the northern Philippines is headed for Hong Kong and will lash the city by Friday, weather forecasts said.

If typhoon Nuri stays on its present course, the centre of the category 1 storm could strike the densely populated city by early Friday afternoon, according to British-based storm tracker Tropical Storm Risk .

A category 1 storm is the weakest on a scale of 1 to 5.

Hong Kong is hosting Olympic equestrian events that are scheduled to finish on Thursday.

Heavy rain and winds of up to 162 kph (101 mph) are expected to sweep across the city, weather forecasts said. Hong Kong, a major Asian financial hub on the southeastern Chinese coast, has a population of 7 million people.

Chinese officials issued a warning for Fujian province along the southeast coast, asking foreign-registered boats to seek shelter, Xinhua news agency said.

Nuri caused mudslides and landslides that killed four in the northern Philippines on Wednesday.

The storm, which is about halfway between the Philippines and Hong Kong on Thursday, is packing sustained winds of 126 kph and gusts of 162 kph, Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau ( reported.

Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan from August until the end of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific or the South China Sea before weakening over land.