Wet weekend in Hong Kong as Rammasun moves north

Hongkongers can expect damp weekend as typhoon moves north causing chaos

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 4:02am

Wet weather is expected to continue to affect Hong Kong over the weekend as Super Typhoon Rammasun moves further away from the city.

The Observatory downgraded the No 3 typhoon signal to the No 1 signal at 7.40pm yesterday.

At midnight, Rammasun was 500km west-southwest of Hong Kong. It made landfall over the coast of Wenchang , Hainan Island , yesterday afternoon, and is forecast to move northwest at about 22km/h towards Beibu Gulf.

More than 26,000 people on Hainan were evacuated and resorts and tour bus companies were told to suspend operations until today. Xinhua said authorities had ordered the highest level of disaster alert for the region.

The Observatory's senior scientific officer Dr Lee Tsz-cheung said rain from the fringes of the storm would continue to affect Hong Kong, and winds on high ground and in the southwestern part of the city would continue to be strong.

Kindergarten classes and schools for children with special needs were closed yesterday.

The Observatory said winds would moderate gradually today, and there would be squally showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures would range between 26 and 29 degrees Celsius today, and become warmer next week.

Earlier this week, Rammasun killed at least 54 people in the Philippines. Three people are still missing and 100 were injured, while as many as 350,000 people were forced to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Matmo, with maximum sustained winds of 65km/h, developed east of the Philippines yesterday morning and is expected to intensify into a severe tropical storm tomorrow.

The Observatory has said it expects typhoons to arrive in Hong Kong later this year due to the El Nino phenomenon. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a more than 70 per cent chance of an El Nino this year. Scientists say it could be the strongest in decades.