Hong Kong weather

Five things to do (and avoid) in Hong Kong when the No 8 typhoon signal is raised

With heavy rain and strong winds lashing the city, staying indoors is your safest option. But don’t fret, we’ve prepared a few ideas to help keep yourself safe, fed and entertained while Nida passes over our city.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 August, 2016, 5:42pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2016, 12:19pm

As the city endures its first No. 8 typhoon of the year, here is a list of things you should do and should not do when Typhoon Nida strikes.

Five things to do:

1. Get home safe

MTR frequencies will increase to peak-hour levels, but it is also likely Light Rail trains and sections operating above ground, such as the East Rail Line, will be suspended if weather conditions worsen, according to MTR guidelines.

If you are taking a taxi, beware of drivers who claim that their insurance policies do not provide coverage if they drive in a typhoon. A Post investigation found that the city’s insurers generally do not make any exceptions for typhoons and drivers should not charge you any fare surcharges.

2. Typhoon-proof your home

Tape your windows with adhesive in large X-es so glass shards do not fly everywhere if they get hit by objects. Remove potted plants, loose items and laundry from outdoors, and move furniture away from windows.

3. Sleep in

Typhoon Nida is predicted to be closest to Hong Kong at 5am today, and will be within a 400km radius later in the day, according to the Observatory’s cyclone tracker. Unless the signal is lowered to a strong warning signal 3 by 5.30am, all schools are suspended. All workers other than essential staff are not required to report for duty if the Typhoon 8 warning is still in force prior to work hours.

4. Play mahjong

Mahjong, a four-player Chinese tile game similar to playing cards, is a quintessentially Hong Kong activity during typhoon season. The rules are complex and mentally demanding, but that makes it all the more satisfying when you win.

5. Play Pokemon Go

While the aim of the game is to go out and catch Pokemons in the real world, it is advised you stay indoors since weather conditions are bound to get bad. But that does not mean you cannot play the game indoors. You can always use Incense – a game item that lures wild Pokemons to your location for 30 minutes. They are attracted by the incense and will appear only to you.

Five things not to do:

1. Play Pokemon Go

Rare Pokemons in the park can wait. In a Typhoon 8, anything from trees to hanging neon signs can collapse and cause imminent danger.

2. Go surfing or engage in outdoor activities

Typhoon season may be the best time for surfers to catch some rare waves in the city, but it is also considered dangerous. Surfers have previously got into conflicts with police who wanted them out of the water over safety concerns.

3. Go to a pier

This should be a no-brainer during typhoons, but there have been reports in previous years of tourists and locals heading towards piers to “experience” a typhoon. Waves by the harbour can reach up to 2m high, and the Observatory advises people to avoid shorelines.

4. Go to an outlying island

Hong Kong has some 260 outlying islands to visit with stunning scenery, but it is likely you will be stuck there without a way back. Ferries to and from Macau and islands including Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau are suspended when the No. 8 signal is raised.

5. Go to the Ani-Com and Games Fair or a museum

The fair, in its 18th year, welcomed thousands of fans of virtual reality diversions, local cartoons, and Japanese comics last Friday. As the the No. 8 signal was issued at 8.40pm on Monday night, it means the fair, along with public museums, will be closed.