Date
11 December 2017
The Government Flying Service rescued 11 crew members of a cargo ship that sank 64 nautical miles east of Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: Government Flying Service
The Government Flying Service rescued 11 crew members of a cargo ship that sank 64 nautical miles east of Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: Government Flying Service

HK sees first successive No. 8 typhoon signals in 51 years

Typhoon Pakhar prompted the No. 8 storm signal on Sunday, just four days after a similar warning was hoisted during the passage of Typhoon Hato on Wednesday.

Hong Kong has not seen two storm signals that close to each other in 51 years.

The Observatory issued the No. 8 signal at 5:10 a.m. on Sunday before lowering it to No. 3 in the early afternoon after Pakhar landed in Taishan in Guangdong province.

It was only the third time since records began in 1946 that such a signal was issued back to back in just a few days, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Data from the Observatory shows two No. 8 signals were issued in 1948, with the second one only four days and three hours later.

A second similar situation took place in July 1966 when Typhoon Lola and Typhoon Mamie struck Hong Kong consecutively, forcing the Observatory to issue the signals in a time difference of three days and three hours.

According to Lee Shuk-ming, the Observatory’s senior scientific officer, Pakhar brought less severe winds than Hato but more rain.

While Hong Kong should be able to take a breath after the two typhoons, it is too early to say that the city can be free from typhoons before the year ends.

Because the surface temperature of the South China Sea is higher than normal, the National Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological Administration expects that one to two typhoons are likely to form in the South China Sea and the northwestern Pacific Ocean between Sept. 6 and 15, according to hk01.com.

Lee said it is too early to predict if they will end up affecting Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the Government Flying Service sent out several helicopters at 7 a.m. Sunday when the No. 8 was in effect to rescue the crew of a cargo ship that sank 64 nautical miles east of Hong Kong.

Eleven people were saved in rough seas that made rescue extremely difficult.

A 42-year-old truck driver was killed when he was flung out of the vehicle after it was blown over by a gust of wind and overturned on Yuen Long Highway.

He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Two passengers were hospitalized with minor injuries.

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TL/JC/RA

Waves crash on a barrier in Victoria Harbour during Typhoon Hato on Aug. 23. Photo: Xinhua


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