Experienced my first T8 in Hong Kong today! Schools are closed, no work, transportation is running at a minimum, RAIN everywhere, winds blowing trees down. Crazy! But also exhilarating, since this is the first time the Hong Kong observatory has issued a T8 warning when I am in actually in Hong Kong! It’s also the first time I’ve seen a Hong Kong street so empty (see picture above). Okay, back up what is a T8 you may ask?
It’s how the Hong Kong observatory warns it’s residents. The signals are as follows:
T1 – Telling you a typhoon has started, but won’t affect Hong Kong any time soon.
T3 – Strong winds are occurring, but life goes on as normal.
T8 – Hong Kong shuts down. Winds up to 180KM/H may be hitting the harbor in HK island. Gale winds will below down trees. Stay home!
T9 – Stronger windws than T8. Hong Kong shuts down. STAY HOME.
T10 – Epic disaster. Your windows may crack. Tape it up.
That in a nut shell are the signals. I woke up this morning and saw that the T8 signal was still up, no work! Or at least work from home =p. However since I don’t cook at home, I had to go out and get some food. Boy I was surprised as to how empty the streets were. There were no buses, taxis, people etc. A lot of shops were also closed but thank goodness some of the local eateries braved the storm for it’s customers.
The MTR is also operating on a limited schedule. The news is reporting that MTR trains are running once every ten minutes, which is really slow for HK standards.
Fun fact though, is that typhoons seldom hit Hong Kong directly. This is because geographically, Hong Kong is situated behind Taiwan and Philippines, so unfortunately those countries do take the brunt of the hit. The rare time where the typhoon actually pasts through those two countries and hits Hong Kong, will result in a T10. But again, very rare.
I hope people of HK stay safe today!