Hong Kong Braces for Typhoon Koinu: Third-Highest Storm Warning Issued

In a concerning development, Hong Kong issued its third-highest storm warning signal on Sunday as Typhoon Koinu approached, leading to the closure of various transport services and schools. Here’s what you need to know:

The Arrival of Typhoon Koinu

Hong Kong closes schools, raises third-highest alert warning for Typhoon Koinu | The Star

Typhoon Koinu arrived on the scene just a month after Hong Kong was battered by Typhoon Saola, which had triggered the city’s highest "T10" storm alert. Subsequently, Hong Kong experienced its highest recorded rainfall in nearly 140 years, causing significant flooding, subway station closures, and landslides.

Weather Warnings and Precautions

The Hong Kong Observatory issued warnings of strong winds and intense rain bands as Typhoon Koinu advanced towards the Pearl River Estuary, edging as close as 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Hong Kong before midnight. They cautioned the public to avoid low-lying areas in anticipation of potential storm surges. Additionally, the observatory stated that it would assess the need for higher storm warning signals based on wind speeds.

Understanding the "T8" Signal

Typhoon Koinu triggered the "T8" signal in Hong Kong’s warning system. This is the third-highest level of warning and is activated when a storm’s sustained wind speed reaches 117 kilometers (72 miles) per hour. Notably, Typhoon Koinu’s maximum sustained wind speed was recorded at a formidable 145 kilometers (90 miles) per hour.

Impact on Services and Transport

As a precautionary measure, schools, daycare centers, cargo terminals, ferries, and buses suspended their operations for the day or the afternoon. Hong Kong’s Airport Authority reported the cancellation of approximately 90 flights and delays for 130 others throughout the day due to the storm.

Incident Reports

The Hong Kong government received reports of four fallen trees and two people injured during the typhoon on Sunday afternoon.

Koinu’s Path Before Hong Kong

Prior to reaching Hong Kong, Typhoon Koinu brushed past Taiwan, bringing torrential rain and record-breaking winds to Orchid Island. This resulted in at least one casualty and widespread power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of homes.

The Bigger Picture

Southern China is no stranger to typhoons during the summer and autumn months, originating in the warm oceans east of the Philippines and making their way westward. However, experts note that climate change has made tropical storms more unpredictable and intensified their impact, leading to increased rainfall and stronger gusts, which in turn cause flash floods and coastal damage.

Remember, staying informed and heeding official warnings is crucial during such weather events.

Disclaimer: This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

Navigating Storm Precautions in Hong Kong

What is the meaning of T8 in Hong Kong?

To understand the meaning of "T8" in Hong Kong, it’s crucial to grasp the storm warning system. In Hong Kong, typhoon signals are categorized numerically, indicating the severity of the approaching storm. Here’s a breakdown of what "T8" signifies:

  • T8 Signal: The "T8" signal is activated when a storm or typhoon with sustained wind speeds exceeding 180 kilometers per hour (112 miles per hour) approaches Hong Kong. This signal indicates a significant threat to public safety.

When the "T8" signal is hoisted, it serves as a clear warning to residents and visitors to take immediate precautions. People are strongly advised to return to their homes or seek shelter, as the city essentially comes to a halt. This measure is implemented to ensure the safety of individuals and to minimize the potential risks associated with the approaching storm.

In summary, "T8" in Hong Kong signifies a high-level storm warning issued when there is a substantial risk posed by a typhoon or storm with powerful gusts exceeding 180 kilometers per hour.

What does Typhoon 8 mean in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, when you hear about "Typhoon 8," it refers to the No. 8 Northeast Gale or Storm Signal. This signal, issued by the Hong Kong Observatory, indicates specific weather conditions:

  • Signal Meaning: The No. 8 Northeast Gale or Storm Signal signifies that the region is under the influence of a typhoon or storm. Specifically, it indicates that winds with mean speeds of 63 kilometers per hour (approximately 39 miles per hour) or more are expected from the northeast quarter.

When this signal is issued, it serves as a vital warning for residents and authorities. It implies that strong winds and potentially severe weather conditions are on the horizon, requiring people to take precautions and stay informed about the evolving situation.

To sum it up, "Typhoon 8" in Hong Kong refers to the No. 8 Northeast Gale or Storm Signal, indicating the expectation of high winds from the northeast and the potential impact of a typhoon or storm.

What is the typhoon scale in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, the tropical cyclone warning system is categorized into five distinct levels, each denoted by a specific number: 1, 3, 8, 9, and 10. Here’s a breakdown of what each category means:

  • Category 1: This is the lowest level of the tropical cyclone warning system, indicating that a tropical cyclone is affecting or approaching Hong Kong, but with wind speeds not reaching destructive force.

  • Category 3: Signifying a higher level of alert, Category 3 warns of a stronger impact, with winds that could potentially pose a risk to property and safety.

  • Category 8: The No. 8 Northeast Gale or Storm Signal is issued when winds with mean speeds of 63 kilometers per hour or more are expected from the northeast quarter. This indicates a substantial threat, often leading to significant precautions and disruptions.

  • Category 9: A rare and severe category, the No. 9 Gale or Storm Signal implies that very strong winds with destructive force are expected, necessitating utmost caution and preparedness.

  • Category 10: The highest level in the scale, the No. 10 Hurricane Signal, is raised when a typhoon is imminent or is affecting Hong Kong with winds of hurricane force. This signifies a critical and potentially life-threatening situation.

These categories help residents and authorities gauge the severity of an approaching tropical cyclone, enabling them to take appropriate measures for safety and preparedness. The raising of a Category 9 or 10 signal is indeed rare and signifies the anticipation of destructive force.

In summary, the typhoon scale in Hong Kong encompasses five categories, ranging from 1 to 10, with each number indicating the level of alert and the expected impact of an approaching tropical cyclone.

What is the meaning of T3 typhoon?

In Hong Kong, a T3 Typhoon Warning Signal holds significance as part of the tropical cyclone warning system. Let’s break down what a T3 typhoon signal means:

  • T3 Signal: The T3 Typhoon Warning Signal is issued when a typhoon is approaching Hong Kong with sustained winds that have reached a certain threshold. While the specific wind speed requirement may vary, it indicates that the region is likely to experience adverse weather conditions.

When a T3 signal is raised, there are several anticipated impacts on daily life:

  • School Closures: Kindergartens typically close for the safety of children.
  • Facility Closures: Most buildings will close their pools and outdoor facilities as a precautionary measure.
  • Boating Activities: Boating activities, including popular summer junk boat trips, are typically canceled to ensure the safety of participants.

In essence, a T3 Typhoon Warning Signal indicates a moderate level of alert, signaling that residents should prepare for potential disruptions to daily routines and outdoor activities due to the approaching typhoon.

Stay informed and follow local authorities’ guidance when a T3 signal is in effect to ensure your safety.

Do buses run during T8 Hong Kong?

During a T8 Hong Kong typhoon signal, bus services are initially operational, but it’s important to note that the service frequencies may be reduced as the storm approaches. Specifically, MTR Bus service is scheduled to be suspended approximately 3 hours after the issuance of the Signal 8 warning.

So, to answer the question, buses do run during a T8 Hong Kong typhoon signal initially, but travelers should be prepared for possible service reductions and eventual suspension as safety measures are implemented in anticipation of the approaching storm.

How long will T8 last in Hong Kong?

How long will T8 last in Hong Kong during the passage of Typhoon Koinu? Initially raised as a precautionary measure, the T8 Typhoon Warning Signal was issued as Typhoon Koinu approached the city. However, due to the unpredictable nature of typhoons, the forecasters downgraded the alert from T8 at 11.50pm.

As for its duration, the T8 signal was expected to remain in force until 11 am on Monday.

In summary, the T8 Typhoon Warning Signal in Hong Kong, triggered by Typhoon Koinu, was anticipated to last through the night and into the morning hours of the following day, serving as a precautionary measure for residents and authorities.

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