Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hong Kong Jelawat

A No.1 warning went up yesterday, for tropical cyclone Jelawat, Where did that come from, how did that sneak in? Currently, Jelawat is about 450km south of here.

So far today, there have been some very heavy downpours. Since no one hereabouts likes to get their head wet, even people with umbrellas scurry for shelter. The streets and alleys on a little island in the South China Sea soon empty of people.

Whether from or wet or dry vantage point, there is something elementally enervating about such monumental deluges. As long as one's house does not get flooded or other mishaps to life and limb occur. Then the rain stops and the daily rhythms of life regain their momentum.

For reasons best known to itself, Hong Kong Observatory now "dispatches' Thunderstorm Warnings. Excerpts from the one they issued this morning:
Thunderstorms are expected to occur over Hong Kong. Gusts exceeding 85 kilometres per hour were recorded at East Lantau at around 9:15 a.m. Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions when thunderstorms occur:
1. Stay indoors. Seek shelter in buildings if you are engaging in outdoor activities.
2. Do not stand on high grounds. Keep away from highly conductive objects, trees or masts.
3. Take precautions against violent gusts. Beware of flying debris and falling objects.
4. Drivers using highways and flyovers should reduce speed to be alert to violent gusts.
No mention, however, of the supposed danger of using a mobile phone or iPod in the great outdoors during a thunderstorm: Guardian

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