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Hong Kong weather

Some love it, others hate it as Typhoon Haima passes Hong Kong

Friday saw flight cancellations, heavy rain, fallen trees and the suspension of business activities and classes across the city

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 October, 2016, 6:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 December, 2016, 11:08am

Typhoon chasers, air passengers and tourists had a love-hate relationship with Typhoon Haima, which brought the city to a standstill for much of Friday.

Haima prompted the issuing of typhoon signal No 8, which turned Friday into a day off with flight cancellations, heavy rain, fallen trees and the suspension of business activities and classes across the city. The typhoon made landfall in Shanwei in eastern Guangdong province on Friday afternoon.

Watch: Typhoon Haima brings traffic to a standstill

Visitor Alfred Happenhofer, who was heading home to Vienna after a business trip to the city, travelled to Hong Kong International Airport even though he knew his 1pm flight had been cancelled.

“The airline emailed me to say my flight would be delayed to 14 hours later,” Happenhofer said, adding that he had been to Hong Kong multiple times but had never experienced a typhoon.

“I guess I will be staying here to work on my laptop. It will be quite boring, but there is nothing you can do against the wind.”

To storm chasers, the typhoon not only meant a bonus day off, but an occasion to watch rough waves, despite Observatory warnings that people should stay away from the shoreline and not engage in water sports.

Bryan Chan, who lives in Kennedy Town, brought his daughter with him to watch the waves.

“Compared to the other typhoon, which brushed past us, this one is hitting the city right in its face so we are experiencing its full effect,” he said.

“The waves are slapping the shore,” Chan added. “It is not a rare occurrence, but today the waves are acting a bit crazier than usual.”

Reacky Choi Yeung-ming, 50, a driver, was excited about the wind.

“I love seeing special natural scenes so I am always out whenever there is a typhoon [signal] No 8,” Choi said. “I will drive up to The Peak later. I think things there will be more spectacular.”

Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront became a selfie hotspot against the backdrop of Victoria Harbour.

Some wandered along the esplanade to experience the strength of the wind.

Indonesian tourist Heru Sunarto, 58, who is in the city for the first time on a three-day trip with his family, said he found out about the typhoon only when he could not get a ferry to Macau.

“It is so quiet here now, very different from what we thought Hong Kong would be like,” Sunarto said.

“We wanted to go sightseeing and shopping after not being able to board the ferry, but it seems like there is nothing to do except go back to our hotel,” he said.