Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hong Kong: Number 3

Yesterday, Hong Kong Observatory raised the Number One 'stand-by signal'. A tropical cyclone is lurking in the neighbourhood. In this case, tropical cyclone Prapiroon. That sounds Thai. Oh, it is: god of rain.

Since when, Prapiroon intensified into a typhoon and is now some 340km to the south of a little island in the South China Sea. Headed west-northwest toward Hainan Island, typhoon Prapiroon is big enough and close enough that several hours ago the Observatory upgraded the signal to a Number Three:
Strong winds are expected or blowing in Victoria Harbour, with a sustained speed of 41-62 km/h (kilometres per hour). Gusts may exceed 110 km/h. Winds are normally expected to become generally stronger in the harbour areas within 12 hours after the issuing of this signal.
Action - Secure all loose objects, particularly those on balconies and rooftops. Flower pots and other objects likely to be blown away should be taken indoors. Secure hoardings, scaffoldings and temporary structures. Drains should be cleared to avoid blockage and overflows. Listen to radio and TV announcements for further information about the storm
Thankfully, it looks as if we shall be spared the ravages of a full-on typhoon. Instead of all that anxiety, ahead is the elemental buzz and ion-enhanced joy of heavy rains, gusts, squalls, and thunderstorms.