Weekend washout likely as Rammasun approaches

No 3 strong wind warning issued, but Observatory says higher signals unlikely

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 5:16am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 2:06pm

Outdoor activities seem doomed this weekend with heavy showers and strong winds brought by Typhoon Rammasun expected to hit Hong Kong today and last until Monday.

The No 3 typhoon signal, indicating strong winds, was hoisted yesterday afternoon as the storm churned across the South China Sea after cutting a swathe through the Philippines.

But the Observatory said higher storm signals were unlikely, despite Rammasun intensifying slightly and edging closer to the South China coast last night.

At midnight, Rammasun was estimated to be 480km south of the city, moving northwest at about 22km/h towards western Guangdong and Hainan Island.

Strong east to southeasterly winds, occasionally reaching gale force, were recorded offshore and on high ground last night and were forecast to continue today. Sea swells are expected.

"People are advised not to engage in water sports and to stay away from the shoreline," Observatory senior scientific officer Dr Lee Tsz-cheung said.

Winds were predicted to moderate in the following couple of days but there would still be showers, forecasters said.

Six Hong Kong Airlines flights between Hong Kong and Hainan were affected, with four services to and from Haikou cancelled or rescheduled, and two flights to and from Sanya cancelled.

Handling of empty containers at the Kwai Chung port was stopped because of the wind.

Video: Super Typhoon Rammasun hits Hong Kong, southern China, bringing heavy rain and winds 

Earlier this week, Rammasun killed at least 38 people in the Philippines and forced as many as 350,000 people to evacuate.

While Hong Kong has not been hit by any typhoons this year, the city has sweltered, with the hottest June since records began in 1884. The average temperature last month was 29 degrees Celsius - 1.1 degrees above normal for June.