24 January 2019
Local winds are strengthening significantly as Typhoon Hato moves toward the  Pearl River Estuary. Photo: HK Observatory
Local winds are strengthening significantly as Typhoon Hato moves toward the Pearl River Estuary. Photo: HK Observatory

Observatory issues Hurricane Signal No. 10 as Hato hits HK

The Observatory issued the Hurricane Signal No. 10, the highest typhoon signal, at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday, just an hour after it issued the No. 9 signal as winds brought by Typhoon Hato intensified significantly.

At 10 a.m., Severe Typhoon Hato was centered about 60 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong Observatory (near 21.8 degrees north 114.0 degrees east) and is forecast to move west-northwest at about 25 kilometers per hour towards the western part of the Pearl River Estuary.

Hurricane force winds are affecting the southeastern part of Hong Kong. With Hato moving towards the western part of the Pearl River Estuary, local winds will turn gradually to the southeast, and hurricane force winds will affect other parts of the territory.

Signal No. 10 is expected to remain in force for a few hours.

There were reports of fallen trees and scaffolding, according to public broadcaster RTHK.

People who were caught by the storm in the streets at around 9:30 a.m. said the wind was so strong they were carried away.

Members of the public should stay away from the shoreline and stop all outdoor activities, the Observatory said. They should take all precautions against high winds and flooding.

“You are advised to remain where you are if protected and be prepared for destructive winds, possible flooding and landslip,” it said.

A high water level of 3 meters above chart datum has already been recorded at Quarry Bay and is expected to further increase. A high water level of about 5.0 meters above normal is expected at Tolo Harbour around noon time.

In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Waglan Island, Tate’s Cairn and Cheung Chau Beach were 141, 135 and 126 kilometers per hour with maximum gusts 192, 187 and 163 kilometres per hour respectively.

At 9:23 a.m., MTR Corp. said in a press release it has stopped train service in open sections as well as the services of Light Rail and MTR Bus. Limited train service in underground sections will be maintained until close of traffic.

Open sections include the East Rail Line, Ma On Shan Line, Airport Express, Disneyland Resort Line, Tsuen Wan Line – between Tsuen Wan Station and Lai King Station, Kwun Tong Line – between Choi Hung Station and Tiu Keng Leng Station, Island Line – between Heng Fa Chuen Station and Chai Wan Station, Tung Chung Line – between Kowloon Station and Tung Chung Station, South Island Line – between Admiralty Station and Lei Tung Station, and West Rail Line – between Tsuen Wan West Station and Tuen Mun Station.

The Observatory issued Signal No. 8 at around 5:20 a.m.

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