Hong Kong weather

Hong Kong suspends kindergarten and special school classes in anticipation of typhoon signal No 3

Warning expected to be upgraded from signal No 1 at lunchtime on Monday as Typhoon Nida approaches city

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 July, 2016, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 01 August, 2016, 12:13pm

Classes at kindergartens and some special schools were suspended on Monday as Typhoon Nida approached Hong Kong.

An announcement from the Education Bureau said: “As the Hong Kong Observatory expects that the tropical cyclone warning signal No 3 is likely to be issued within the next few hours, classes at kindergartens, schools for children with physical disability and schools for children with intellectual disability are suspended today.

“These schools, however, should keep their premises open and implement contingency measures to look after arriving students. They should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home.”

In the eye of the storm: typhoons in Hong Kong

The warning signal was expected to be upgraded to typhoon signal No 3 at about lunchtime on Monday. Typhoon standby signal No 1 was raised at 10pm on Sunday night, with Typhoon Nida expected to hit the city on Tuesday morning, bringing heavy showers over the next few days.

The severe tropical storm, which passed over the Philippines and entered the South China Sea on Sunday, strengthened into a typhoon as it edged closer to the city, according to the Hong Kong Observatory’s tropical cyclone tracker.

The storm was on track to enter a 400km radius of Hong Kong at around 2pm on Monday with wind speeds of 140km per hour.

The Observatory warned the public to take precautions. Frequent showers and thunderstorms were expected to hit the city, with temperatures between 27 and 34 degrees, according to the Observatory’s weather forecast bulletin.

‘Serious threat’

Queenie Lam Ching-chi, a senior scientific officer at the Observatory, said it was also considering issuing a strong wind signal No 3 at about lunchtime on Monday.

“The typhoon poses a serious threat to the areas around the Pearl River Estuary,” she said. “We will not rule out the possibility of issuing a stronger warning signal [after No 3].”

Clarence Fong, director of ­meteorological website Weather Underground, said it was possible the typhoon would land within a 100km radius on Tuesday morning, but it was still uncertain which side of Hong Kong it would hit.

Fong explained that if the storm landed to the west of Hong Kong, it would coincide with high tides, in which case the threat of flooding in low-lying areas brought about by storm surges would be significantly higher.

Rain and squalls

“If the storm lands to the east, there won’t be a problem,” Fong said.

The Observatory forecast that Typhoon Nida would land to the east of the city, but said there was still a chance it could land west.

Nida is projected to head west towards Guangzhou after hitting Hong Kong.

The China Meteorological ­Administration also issued an orange typhoon warning on Sunday, the third-highest level on a four-tier scale, meaning that a tropical cyclone is likely to bring strong winds and rain to the Guangdong region on Monday.

The weather was expected to deteriorate on Tuesday and Wednesday with heavy rain and squalls, but to eventually brighten up towards the weekend.

Heat shelters

“As Nida moves away from Hong Kong, it’ll be cloudy with a few showers. The weather will gradually get better and we can expect sunshine on the weekend,” Lam said.

Temperatures on Sunday rose to an average of 34 degrees, prompting the government to open 15 temporary heat shelters overnight across the city.

The Senior Citizen Home Safety Association also received at least 896 calls for help from the elderly through their call and care service on Sunday alone.

At least 79 people were admitted to hospital because of various body pains and heart problems.