Just over a month ago I wrote a post about Typhoon Utor transforming the normally bustling Hong Kong into a ghost town…Storm signal T 8 was hoisted sending the city that never sleeps into a temporary coma. You can read all about what happens when a T8 is hoisted here.
Tonight the vibrant financial hub is once again in the firing line and the world is watching closely.
While it’s been downgraded from the ‘Super Typhoon’ which has lashed Taiwan and the Philippines killing at least two people, it’s now barreling towards Asia’s World City at 160 km per/hour – expected to pass within 100 kilometres of the city tonight.
It’s being touted the largest storm on the planet this year AND the biggest storm to hit Hong Kong in 34 years, since Typhoon Hope in 1979 which killed 12 and injured 260. The city is preparing for severe flooding due to gale force winds and exceptionally high tides.
As always, Hong Kong is extremely vigilant when it comes to preparing for a typhoon. Actually, you might say this city is storm savvy!
Preparations have been underway for the last 24 hours as this monster named Usagi (which by the way means ‘Rabbit’) threatens to bear down on the Fragrant Harbour.
Tonight, all flights have been cancelled in and out of the city and the world’s busiest port has come to a standstill.
Contingency plans are in place at the Daya Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong in case of damage and as of 7pm Hong Kong time, a T8 has again been hoisted.
This means the public transport system, including trains and ferries, reduces dramatically before coming to a grinding halt.
Residents are warned to stay indoors.
If the T8 still stands tomorrow, all shops, schools and government services will be closed for business, not to mention disruption to Asia’s second largest Stock Exchange.
I had a sneak peak downstairs earlier today and supermarkets were packed with people stocking up on supplies. (Just between you, me and the gatepost, I was squeezing in a quick blow dry in case my hairdressers shuts up shop tomorrow – a girls gotta have her priorities, right!!)
Downstairs in our apartment, the Concierge isn’t taking any chances.
But while, plans are set in place across this city of seven million to (thankfully) minimize damage from Usagi, for many Hong Kong locals and expats, it’s typically another day, another typhoon….and with that comes a much welcome day off!!
Meantime, I’m due to take a flight home tomorrow night.
How do you rate my chances?
I may very well need to pull a rabbit out of the hat!!
PS A special shout out to all those concerned friends and family from afar…
The hatches are well and truly battened down!