Typhoon signal No 1 issued, but Tropical Storm Mawar unlikely to hit Hong Kong
Storm, expected to give the city a wide berth, still causes 20 flights to be cancelled
Hong Kong woke to a standby typhoon signal on Saturday as Tropical Storm Mawar came within 800km, but forecasters said the city was unlikely to face its third weather-beating in a fortnight.
But the storm did cause some local disruption, prompting the cancellations of 20 flights to and from the city.
The Observatory issued the No 1 signal, officially the standby signal, at 2.20am.
By 11.45am, Mawar was estimated to be 320km east-southeast of Hong Kong and forecast to head north-northwest, skirting along the eastern coast of Guangdong province.
The tropical storm was unlikely to get close to Hong Kong. Forecasters had suggested days earlier that the city could face a direct hit from its third typhoon in only two weeks.
The Observatory said Mawar was moving slowly, but strengthening. It added that it was unlikely to upgrade the storm warning to signal No 3.
“Local winds are not expected to strengthen significantly today,” the Observatory said.
Mawar was expected to hit the Guangdong coast on Sunday, more than 200km from Hong Kong.
But the outer rain bands associated with Mawar would bring squally showers throughout the weekend, the Observatory said.
The tropical storm’s proximity to the eastern coast of the mainland and Taiwan forced Cathay Pacific Airways to cancel 20 flights – the bulk of them on Sunday and one on Monday.
Services to and from Taipei, Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Shanghai and Beijing were among those axed. One flight each to Bangkok and Singapore were also cancelled.
By 11am, the average temperature across Hong Kong was 28 degrees Celsius. Sunny spells were expected to be punctuated by rain and thunderstorms.
Last week, the Observatory issued a No 10 signal for Typhoon Hato, which brought the city to a standstill. In nearby Macau, the typhoon killed 10 people and injured at least 240.