A rare waterspout, a funnel-like cloud that occurs over a body of water, was spotted near Cheung Chau on Thursday night as tropical storm Ewiniar approached the city, the Hong Kong Observatory said.
The natural phenomenon was captured on camera at 6:45 p.m. by the Observatory’s Cheung Chau automatic weather station towards the north and at the Cheung Chau Sacred Heart School towards the east. It lasted less than five minutes.
Since 1959, there have been at least 39 reported sightings of waterspouts within a 460-kilometer radius of Hong Kong, based on official records. They usually occur in July.
The Observatory, meanwhile, lowered the storm alert to the No. 1 Standby Signal at 3:40 p.m. on Friday, after raising the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 at 12:40 p.m. on Thursday.
Ewiniar did not hit Hong Kong directly and landed in Yangjiang, Guangdong province on Thursday night. It continued to weaken on Friday afternoon.
The severe rainstorm brought flash floods in many areas of the city, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
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