The Strong Wind Signal No. 3 has been issued as a tropical depression approached the city.
The Hong Kong Observatory issued the alert at 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday. The tropical cyclone is expected to bring “intense gusts reaching 80 kilometres” and “isolated squally thunderstorms.”
The storm signal was upgraded hours after the Hong Kong Observatory issued the Standby Signal No. 1 in the early hours of Tuesday at 3:40a.m., and is expected to remain in force until at least 6 p.m.
“The need to issue higher signals subsequently will depend on the changes in the intensity of the tropical depression and the variation in local wind strength,” the Observatory said, adding that it would “closely monitor the development and movement of the tropical depression.”
Tuesday’s alert was the third No. 3 signal of the year. Two were issued in July, when Typhoon Chaba threatened to disrupt July 1 Handover anniversary events.
School suspension; warnings at beaches
The Education Bureau earlier announced the suspension of classes of kindergartens and schools for children with physical and intellectual disability.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department also hoisted red flags at several beaches due to “big waves and inclement weather.” They included Cheung Chau Tung Wan Beach and Lower Cheung Sha Beach in Islands District; and Trio Beach, Silverstrand Beach and Clear Water Bay Second Beach in Sai Kung District.
The public was also advised not to swim at the Hap Mun Bay Beach in Sai Kung District as lifeguards were unable to reach the location by ferries and lifesaving services have been suspended.
The Social Welfare Department announced that all child care centres, centres providing after school care programmes, elderly services centres and day rehabilitation units will remain open while the No. 3 signal is hoisted.
The Home Affairs Department also activated a round-the-clock emergency hotline, 25728427, for public enquiries on the tropical cyclone. The Labour Department meanwhile reminded employers and workers to make relevant arrangements.
‘The silhouette of the wind’
On Monday, the Observatory wrote a blogpost titled “the silhouette of the wind,” warning the public of the tropical cyclone.
“The tropical cyclone on Tuesday and Wednesday will travel through the northern part of the South China Sea and move towards the western part of Guangdong and Hainan Island. A cloud band formed west of the Philippines and is expected to become the outer rainband of the tropical cyclone and approach the coast of Guangdong together with the cyclone. With the outer rainband, Hong Kong will experience strong wind on Tuesday and Wednesday, with squally rain and thunderstorms. There will also be big waves on the sea.”
The tropical cyclone is affecting neighbouring Macau as well. Macau authorities issued the Typhoon Signal No. 1 at 7 p.m. on Monday and upgraded it to Typhoon Signal No. 3 at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Typhoon Signal 3
The No. 3 signal warns of strong winds affecting, or expected to affect, Hong Kong within 12 hours.
- Classes of kindergartens and schools for children with physical or intellectual disabilities will be suspended.
- Scheduled ferry services may be cancelled as conditions worsen. Bus and MTR services are not affected.
- Residents should secure loose objects like flower pots or drying racks, and prepare for possible flooding in low-lying areas.