BEIJING, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — The national observatory on Thursday issued a blue alert, the lowest level of a four-tier warning system, for Aere, the 19th typhoon of the year.

Aere was upgraded from a tropical depression to a typhoon at 8 a.m. Thursday, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said in a statement.

At 3 p.m., the eye of the typhoon was above the South China Sea some 530 km to the southeast of Hong Kong. It will move west at a speed of 15 km per hour, the center said.

The NMC said the typhoon will travel toward the coasts of Hainan and Guangdong provinces.

China has a four-tier color-coded system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.