T3 signal issued as severe tropical storm Pakhar approaches Hong Kong
Signal may to be upgraded to No 8 before dawn on Sunday as strong winds hit
A No 3 warning signal was issued at 8.40pm as severe tropical storm Pakhar closed in on Hong Kong, with forecasters saying they may issue the No 8 warning before 6am on Sunday.
Low-lying areas of Hong Kong are again at risk of flooding, four days after Typhoon Hato caused widespread destruction across the region.
Pakhar was expected to be closest on Sunday – within 200km of the city.
“There may be flooding in low-lying areas,” the Hong Kong Observatory said. “The public are advised to take precautions against strong winds and clear storm-water drains to avoid flooding as soon as possible.”
Macau issued a typhoon signal No 3 at 11.30pm on Saturday. Local forecasters said Pakhar would strengthen and they might issue a higher signal No 8 between 5am and 8am on Sunday.
Hongkongers basked in 34 degree heat on Saturday but Pakhar is expected to bring heavy, squally showers throughout Sunday.
One of the areas at risk is the rural fishing village Tai O, which was evacuated after floods in the aftermath of Typhoon Hato.
Resident Eddie Tse said residents dismissed Pakhar, appearing to be nonchalant, despite the Observatory’s advice. “The residents are not so afraid of the coming typhoon and another disaster. They don’t think another flood will come,” said Tse.
Hato also brought severe flooding to Lei Yue Mun, another popular fishing village.
Resident Li Kwok-ping, a construction worker, was in a race against time to strengthen the exterior of his home ahead of Pakhar’s imminent arrival.
“I am adding some concrete to the outer walls and trying to build a shorter wall at the entrance of my home to prevent water from coming in,” he said.
The typhoon damage and repair bill has so far cost Li tens of thousands.
Efforts to build a flood defence, for which he hired five people to assist, only started today with roads into the village cleared on Friday.
“I feel so helpless,” he said, adding Hato damaged a lot of his furniture and equipment and left a lot of debris in his home.
Another of the Hato recovery efforts accelerated on Saturday. A cargo ship that ran aground and started sinking in Nim Shue Wan, near Discovery Bay, was being supported by a barge, in what appears to be an attempt to prevent more damage with the next tropical storm coming. Residents fear the sinking ship could spill fuel and other contaminates.