Tagged: Typhoon

Epic typhoon traffic jam sent passengers scurrying for MTR

Typhoon Khunan brought more than wind and rain to Hong Kong yesterday – it also helped create a massive traffic jam.

Traffic control measures on the Lantau Link caused vehicles heading to the airport and Tung Chung to back up as far as Stonecutters Bridge and Sham Tseng.

The result was rare scenes of people abandoning their rides and walking to the Tsing Yi and Disney MTR stations in order to catch their flights.

The traffic jam, which at one stage reached 13 kilometres long, followed the closure of the Tsing Ma and Ting Kau bridges. Vehicles were diverted to the lower deck of the Tsing Ma, causing drivers to be delayed in traffic for up to four hours, Apple Daily reported.

Flight attendant continues on foot (Photo: Apple Daily)

Secretary for Transport & Housing Frank Chan called for public understanding over the traffic controls, which were intended to ensure public safety. He told reporters restrictions were introduced only when the wind speed on Tsing Ma or Ting Kau bridges exceeded a specified level.

It was the second major traffic jam on the Lantau Link in two months. Drivers were delayed for several hours when the two-way toll was introduced in August.

The T8 storm signal was raised for 11 hours yesterday, in which time 479 flights were delayed and 79 were cancelled, according to Apple Daily.

Photo (top): Traffic banked up behind Ting Kau Bridge

Tai O faces yet more flooding as Khanun set to graze Hong Kong

Tai O appears set to be flooded once again tonight with typhoon Khanun expected to pass within 200 kilometres of the city this afternoon.

Hong Kong Observatory says tides are now running more than 50 centimetres above normal.  “A high tide will occur tonight and cause flooding in some low-lying areas,” it adds.

Tai O, located at sea level on Lantau’s western edge, has already been flooded twice this year.  Typhoons Hato and Pakhar hit the city within a a few days of each other in August, swelling Tai O’s water level to 3.7 metres and leaving the villages with a clean-up that took weeks.

District Councillor Randy Yu has called for the creation of a “post-crisis mechanism” to help Tai O and other low-lying villages deal with floods.

The Observatory says the storm Signal 8 will likely remain in force for most of the afternoon. According to its 12:45pm bulletin:

Local winds are turning northeasterlies, and are forecast to become easterlies later. Areas which were previously sheltered will become exposed and winds will strengthen. Members of the public should stay on the alert.

In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Green Island, Sha Chau and Tai Mei Tuk were 70, 68 and 63 kilometres per hour with maximum gusts 91, 96 and 101 kilometres per hour respectively.

South China Sea at 1pm today (Photo: HK Observatory)

T8 raised as Pakhar nears Hong Kong

The Observatory raised the T8 signal and the amber rainstorm warnings at 5:10am as Typhoon Pakhar approaches Hong Kong.

The typhoon is about 120 km southwest of Hong Kong and forecast to land west of the Pearl River Estuary at 12 noon.

Low-lying areas face possible flooding, the Observatory warns.

Cathay Pacific says it expects delays and cancellations on services on Sunday and Monday.

All ferry services were suspended from 5:30am and South Lantao bus services will be suspended from 7am.

The MTR will run limited services on the Tung Chung and other lines.


Hato lashes Lantau, bringing floods and 130kmh winds

Typhoon Hato brought winds of 130kmh to Lantau this morning, flooding Tai O, bringing air traffic to a halt and pounding local beaches with huge waves.

The Hong Kong Observatory recorded sustained wind speeds of 130 kmh at Cheung Chau and 90 kmh at Chek Lap Kok.

In flood-prone Tai O on Lantau’s western end, waters began rising very fast at about 10am and reached a depth of three metres in some places, according to Oriental Daily. 

Police, fire and Civil Aid Service crews helped evacuate dozens of residents from their homes and move them to shelter.

So far no major injuries or damage have been reported.

Evacuation, Tai O (Oriental Daily)

At 2:10pm the Observatory hoisted the no. 8 signal, replacing the hurricane signal 10 that had been issued this morning. It was the first time in five years that at signal 10 had been issued.

It also lifted thunderstorm and amber rainstorm warnings, but says gale force winds are still affecting Lantau and southwestern Hong Kong.

It will consider downgrading to signal 3 before dusk.

The MTR says it is preparing to run trains on the Tung Chung and Airport Express lines, New Lantao Bus has restarted service on routes 37 and 38 in Tung Chung.

Air services are also returning to normal. Reportedly only one plane, a KLM flight from Amsterdam, landed at Chek Lap Kok this morning.

Aftermath, Tong Fuk


Signal 10: Hurricane Hato bearing down on Hong Kong

The Observatory has raised the no. 10 hurricane signal as Typhoon Hato, bearing winds of 155 kmh, heads for Hong Kong.

If Hatao stays on track, Lantau could take close to the full force. The typhoon is tracking toward the Pearl River Estuary and forecast to reach as close as 50km south of the city.

The Observatory has reported maximum sustained wind speeds of 155 kmh.

All schools, bus and ferries are closed and dozens of flights have been cancelled.

The MTR is running a very limited service, with no airport express and no service on the Tung Chung line except between Hong Kong station and Kowloon.

The Observatory raised the no. 10 signal at 9:10am, an hour after raising the no. 9 signal which indicates sharply inceasing wind speeds.  It has also posted an amber rain warning.

It warns of “severe sea water flooding” in low-lying areas and urges people to stay away from the shoreline and stay indoors.

At 9am Typhoon Hato was about 80 kilometres south of the city and forecast to move west-northwest at about 25 kmh toward the Pearl River Estuary.

In the past few hours, local winds were strengthening significantly. Storm force winds are affecting offshore waters. In the coming few hours, Hato will be closest to the territory, skirting about 50 kilometres to the south of Hong Kong. When the local winds strengthen further, the Observatory will consider issuing a higher signal.

The hurricane signal no. 10 has only been raised twice since 1984 and was last issued in 2012 for Typhoon Vicente.

Flights cancelled as Typhoon Hato heads our way

After days of sweltering heat, Hong Kong is bracing for Typhoon Hato.

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) hoisted the strong wind warning signal this afternoon and says it may raise the T8 at around midnight. The T1 warning has been current since 8:40am.

Already dozens of flights have been affected. Most Cathay and Dragon flights scheduled to arrive or depart between 6pm and 5am Wednesday have been cancelled, Cathay Pacific said.

Hato is likely to be closest to Hong Kong tomorrow morning, bringing with it sustained wind speeds as high as 130kmh.

Hato’s expected course (HKO)

At 6pm, Hato was an estimated 410 kilometres east-southeast of Hong Kong and expected to move west-northwest at about 25 km/h.

The HKO’s new cyclone tracker says the typhoon has an 80% probability of hitting Hong Kong. Observatory senior scientific officer Queenie Lam Ching-chi told SCMP.com:

“Hato will definitely pose a threat to Hong Kong. With an intensity of 130kmh at its centre, it has all the conditions to develop into a stronger storm,” she said. “But a higher signal will depend on the data we obtain on its movement and wind structure.”

With the approach from the southeast Hato will be felt most strongly in low-lying coastal areas, including Lantau.

Even if Hong Kong avoids the worst of Hato, the Observatory predicts a week of cloud and rain..

Outlook: rain (Source: HKO)

The Observatory said its Tsim Sha Tsui headquarters early this afternoon had recorded its highest ever temperature – 36.6 degrees.

T8 signal to be hoisted as Typhoon Roke approaches

The Hong Kong  Observatory says it will hoist the T8 signal by 9:20 this morning as Typhoon Roke approaches the city.

It says Roke is relatively small but warns wind speeds will strengthen as it approaches.

At 8 a.m., Roke was estimated to be about 90 kilometres east of Hong Kong east and expected to move west-northwest at about 20 kmh.

In the past few hours, Roke brought gale winds to the coastal waters of the eastern part of Guangdong. The circulation of Roke is small, but local winds will strengthen significantly when Roke moves close to Hong Kong…

As Roke will very likely track from east to west across our territory, local winds will turn rapidly from the current northerlies to south and southeasterlies. Places which have been sheltered before will become more exposed to the high winds. The public should stay on the alert and not to relax precautions.

The T3 signal was raised at 3:40 am.

Tai O residents evacuated over flooding fears

Police have moved dozens of Tai O residents to an overnight shelter because of the fear of flooding from Typhoon Nida.


Battening down in Tai O  Source: Lantau Police

Inhabitants of approximately 500 stilt houses, built over the water at Tai O, shifted to an emergency shelter provided by the Tai O Rural Committee in Market St, police said.  Continue reading

Nida set to pass northeast of Hong Kong

Typhoon Nida has shifted course over the past 24 hours and is set to pass to the north-east of Hong Kong.

Screenshot 2016-08-01 22.16.20(2)

Hong Kong Observatory satellite map, 9pm

After hoisting the Typhoon 8 warning signal at 8:40pm, the Hong Kong Observatory said Nida would close in on Hong Kong overnight but its centre would pass within 100 km to the northeast of the territory.

It warned the typhoon would bring a storm surge that is likely to bring flooding in low-lying areas. That will put Lantau’s Tai O and beachfront properties on Pui O Beach and Lower Cheung Sha at risk. Continue reading

Tai O faces flooding threat, expert warns

Leung Wing-mo, a former Hong Kong Observatory assistant director, has warned of a high risk of flooding in Tai O and other low-lying areas from Typhoon Nida.

Leung says that Nida’s expected landfall tonight coincides with the monthly high tide, where water levels will be 1m higher than usual. If the typhoon hits western Hong Kong, as is widely predicted, “low-lying areas like Tai O have the prospect of facing a greater risk of flooding,” RTHK reported.

Some Tai O residents say authorities built a breakwater in Tai O after Typhoon Hagupit in 2008, but are not certain about how effective that will be, RTHK said. Continue reading