Typhoon Usagi: Severe storm lashes Hong Kong
City battens down the hatches as severe storm makes landfall
Severe Typhoon Usagi left 25 dead as it made landfall in southern China on Sunday, and caused chaos across Hong Kong, throwing flight schedules into disarray and bringing flooding to some areas. SCMP.com was on hand to live blog.
1.05am: Severe Typhoon Usagi has weakened into a typhoon, says Hong Kong Observatory. The number 8 storm signal will remain in force overnight, as the typhoon moves away from Hong Kong.
1am: Usagi remains centred about 80 kilometres north of Hong Kong Observatory (near 23.0 degrees north 114.1 degrees east). The Observatory raises a T8 southwest gale signal to replace the northwest gale.
12.30am: This video from Tai O showing the flooding, courtesy of Johnny Tam:
12.20am: Usagi is centred about 80 kilometres north-northeast of Hong Kong Observatory.
11.25pm: Likely flooding in Tai O.
11pm: Usagi is centred about 90 kilometres northeast of Hong Kong Observatory (near 22.9 degrees north 114.7 degrees east) and is forecast to move west or west-northwest at about 22 kilometres per hour and continue to cross the coastal areas of Guangdong.
10.50pm: Hong Kong Airport Authority says a total of 177 arriving and 193 departing flights were cancelled on Saturday, while another 54 arrivals and 22 departures were delayed.
— Peter Harders (@PeterHarders) September 22, 2013
10.43pm: Woman injured by falling parts (10 feet by 3 feet) of a sign board on Au Pui Wan Street in Sha Tin at about 9pm. She was conscious when taken to Prince of Wales Hospital.
10.30pm: Photos shared on Weibo on Sunday of trees felled by strong winds in Shantou, Guangdong Province as Severe Typhoon Usagi approached.
10.18pm: Xinhua reports two dead in Shantou City, Guangdong Province, after a tree was blown down as Usagi made landfall.
9.55pm: Closer still: Usagi is just 110 kilometres northeast of Hong Kong, says Observatory, with sustained winds reaching 90kph.
9.45pm: Real or fake? This picture is doing the rounds on Twitter:
Typhoon Usagi, from my wife's plane when she flew out of HK this morning pic.twitter.com/D9dCEZ2ZN7
— Roy Grubb (@roygrubb) September 22, 2013
9.35pm: This is what you call extreme surfing:
9.20pm: China Airlines cancels 10 flights connecting Hong Kong and Taiwan tomorrow.
9.05pm: Hong Kong Government announces 23 temporary shelters are open across the city for "people in need of refuge during the passage of the severe typhoon". Call the Public Inquiry Service hotline on 2835 1473 for details.
9pm: Storm surge expected to push sea levels up to 1 metre above normal. Coupled with heavy rain, could cause flooding, Observatory says.
8.55pm: Severe Typhoon Usagi made landfall near Shanwei, Guangdong province, about 140km away from Hong Kong, at 7.45pm, the Observatory said. Usagi continued to approach Hong Kong as a Severe Typhoon. Usagi will skirt to the north of the territory at around 100 km later tonight and early tomorrow morning. The storm is forecast to move west or west-northwest at about 22 kilometres per hour and continue to cross the coastal area of Guangdong.
8.50pm: Hong Kong Observatory says Usagi is 130 kilometres away from the city - and will come closer still. Fresh flood warnings are issued as maximum sustained winds reach 70kph.
— Brandon (@b3108) September 22, 2013
8.40pm: Typhoon Usagi, this year's biggest storm, tonight makes landfall at Guangdong as it was expected to pass within 100 kilometres of Hong Kong. Usagi continues to approach Hong Kong as a Severe Typhoon. Usagi will skirt to the north of the territory at around 100 km later tonight and early tomorrow morning.
8pm: Usagi is centred about 140 kilometres east-northeast of the city, according to the Hong Kong Observatory. It is forecast to move west-northwest at about 22 kilometres per hour towards the coastal areas to the east of Hong Kong and continue to cross the coastal areas of Guangdong.
In the past hour the maximum sustained winds recorded at Cheung Chau, Lau Fau Shan and Chek Lap Kok were 68, 63 and 62 kilometres per hour respectively.
China's National Meteorological Centre said that Usagi landed at around 7.40pm near Shanwei, Guangdong, about 140km east of Hong Kong, packing strong winds with speeds of about 45 metres per second.
The Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan has been closed temporarily due to tropical cyclone warning signal No.8, the Marine Department announced.
— Henry Williams (@digitalhen) September 22, 2013
6.40pm: Hong Kong Observatory raises a T8 signal.
A storm surge induced by Usagi may still lead to flooding in low-lying areas tomorrow morning. The Observatory said the public should be on the alert and take precautions against strong winds and flooding as early as possible.
A dozen hardcore surfers remained in Big Wave Bay an hour or two before the No 8 signal was hoisted. They said the wave was not particularly strong. The beach was so popular that the 30 parking lots were almost full.
But some surfers did give up. "The wave is really strong. It could be more dangerous later," said Ted Wong.
By 7pm, all flights in and out of Hong Kong International Airport were cancelled until further notice.
China's National Meteorological Centre has said that Usagi is likely to land tonight somewhere between Huilai and Huidong on Guangdong's eastern coast, only 30-40km east of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchanges announced that it would not trade tomorrow if the signal 8 remained in place after 12 noon. However, it will open if the signal is discontinued at or before 7.30am.
— Tom Corke (@tomWcorke) September 22, 2013
Typhoon Usagi - operations at Hong Kong will stop from 18:00 today (22 Sep) through Monday (23 Sep). More at http://t.co/wa5i1yhkCZ
— Cathay Pacific (@cathaypacific) September 22, 2013
Flight cancelled back to Hong Kong because of T8 super typhoon Usagi. Staying in Bangkok for one more night...
— Jess Chan (@jesschan89) September 22, 2013
Live: Tsing Ma Bridge. Credit: Hong Kong Transport Department CCTV footage
Live: Island Eastern Corridor near Ka Wah Centre. Credit: Hong Kong Transport Department CCTV footage
Live: Cross-Harbour Tunnel. Credit: Hong Kong Transport Department CCTV footage
Live: Gloucester Road near Wan Chai Interchange. Credit: Hong Kong Transport Department CCTV footage