Thursday, September 29, 2011

My First Typhoon 8 Experience in HK

I am used to thunderstorms in Malaysia but that did not prepare me for my first typhoon 8 experience in Hong Kong. Yesterday evening, the HK Observatory issued a typhoon 3 warning which means strong winds are in store. When we first arrived, we experienced a T3 signal but it did not go further than that. In the wee hours of the morning, the typhoon 8 storm signal was issued, courtesy of Typhoon Nesat. With maximum gusts ranging from 82-115 kilometres per hour, it was no wonder I did not get a good rest last night. Despite securing all doors and windows, the strong gusty winds somehow found their way in through ducts and I could hear rattling throughout the night, accompanied by the sound of crazy howling wind outside. Schools and offices are closed. Buses do not run. So, it's a holiday for the majority. Since I work from home, it doesn't make much difference. J is away and is scheduled to fly back today. For now, it appears that the flight is on schedule, but we'll have to wait and see. Thankfully, I managed to take Kess out to relieve herself this morning before the rain hit. There were lots of debris and broken branches on the road and we did not stay out longer than necessary. When the rain started, the view from my window was like this:
Half an hour later, I could hardly see outside.
So, what should one do when a typhoon 8 signal is in place? Well, the HK observatory tells us to: Complete all precautions now before gales commence. Lock all windows and doors. Fit bars into positions and insert reinforced shutters and gates if available. Adhesive tape fixed to large window panes in exposed positions will reduce damage by broken glass. Do not stand near windows on the exposed side of your home. Move all furniture and valuables away from these areas. Make sure you have a safe place to shelter, should windows be broken. Now is the time to decide which rooms you will use to shelter if the windows on the exposed side of your home become broken. Owners of neon signs should arrange for the electricity supply to their signs to be switched off. Park your car where it is least likely to be damaged. Avoid staying in the street. Return home as soon as possible if conditions so permit. The T8 signal is supposed to be on for the whole day. Let's hope it doesn't increase to a T9 or T10 signal. Fingers crossed.

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