New storm brewing could hit Hong Kong and Macau early next week
Observatory says depression forming near Philippines has developed into tropical storm possibly headed for southern Guangdong
Typhoon-devastated Macau woke to more bad news on Friday as another body found in a flooded car park brought the city’s death toll to nine, even as weather authorities warned of a new storm on the horizon.
The discovery of the latest male victim raised the regional death toll to 19, with 10 lives lost on the mainland in the wake of Typhoon Hato. Hong Kong suffered no fatalities.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Observatory said a tropical depression forming east of the Philippines had strengthened into a tropical storm on Friday. The maximum strength of the new storm, named Pakhar, is expected to be far below that of Hato.
According to its first predicted track for Pakhar, released at 8pm on Thursday night, the Observatory estimated a 70 per cent chance that Macau would be in the storm’s path early next week, the same probability as that for Hong Kong, Zhuhai and some other areas in southern Guangdong.
One potential landing site is the coastal city of Yangjiang, about 200km west of Macau, as shown in the preliminary forecast.
The forecast track will be subject to regular adjustments according to new data collected.
The Observatory said it was still too early to say if Pakhar would hit the casino hub.
It could say only that the storm would enter the northern part of the South China Sea after passing through Luzon in the Philippines early next week and intensify on its way.
Watch: Asia’s casino capital left devastated in wake of Hato
At 11pm on Thursday, the tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of about 45km/h near its centre was forecast to move west-northwest at about 20km/h towards the vicinity of Luzon.
The Observatory said the weather conditions in southern Guangdong would be unstable early next week due to the approaching tropical cyclone.