A hard rains gonna fall

Or Toy-Phoon Story.

Here is the latest Tropical Cyclone Bulletin issued by the Hong Kong Observatory.

The No. 8 Southeast Gale or Storm Signal is in force.

This means that winds with mean speeds of 63 kilometres per hour or more are expected from the southeast quarter.

Now that doesn’t sound very bad does it and to be honest, I have been in a lot worse T8s. The windows and doors banged in the night, the outdoor furniture blew over and one chair almost escaped completely, the frangipani tree lost a lot of leaves and the pot plants look worse for wear. A few branches are down on the roads but otherwise this is not going to go down as one of HK’s worst. Nothing like a direct hit, thank goodness.

I went into the town around 9.30am. The restaurants were busy with dim sum diners but the streets were deserted bar a few hardy souls, mostly with camera in hand. As I arrived the rain became harder and I was loathe to expose the M9 to such a potential drenching. Nonetheless I did venture out with the camera protected by the Crumpler Bag  and started to look for images to illustrate the storm. Now typhoon in Cantonese is Dai Fung or simply, ‘big wind’ – rain is not a given. And it is not to be confused with Wui Fung or Hong Kong Bank (HSBC), where fung means prosperous. In any case, the rain did fall hard for a while.

I tried hard to make it look like  T8 and this was about the worst I could get:

Typhoon Sky

There were a few branches down

Logged off

and you can see that the good folk of the local authority have already been out tidying up. Maybe it was a lot worse during the night.

But the real clue to the T8 signal being up was this:

Typhoon 8 signal is up

Not only had the good burghers of Sai Kung tied a red and white ribbon round the trees but they had also erected a plaque in honour of the occasion. This lonely photographer was so excited he was taking pictures of the steps on the pier. I know it was exciting because after he finished I did the same. Now who’s the silly burgher?

And no weather report would be complete without an umbrella.

Umbrella carnage

Frankly, looking at the construction quality I’m surprised this survived any use at all. Perhaps it was its first outing. This woman had a much better one:

Raising the umbrella

Of course this model is slightly less portable but you have to admit very effective.

So that’s it. Typhoon Nesat has seemingly given us an easy ride and not all T8s are anything like as tame. Some are extremely frightening. I don’t mean to belittle the risk its just on this occasion it all seemed just a bit too alarmist. I hope it was the same elsewhere in HK. Originally I thought this was Typhoon Nesta and that would have worried me a lot more. If it had been anything like my Aunt  Nesta from Ebbw Vale that would have been a real reason to run for cover. She passed on may years ago, God bless her, and she was my mother’s best friend but she was definitely an 8 on anybody’s scorecard.

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2 thoughts on “A hard rains gonna fall

  1. Nice documentary Andrew. Love how you are so casual about the typhoon…just another HK day! The first image looks quite ominous and the other b&w shows the swell of the water. But I know what you mean by not so bad…this looks similar to a stormy monsoon day in Mumbai. Obviously the M9 coped pretty well in the downpour – a lot better than that poor umbrella:) Enjoyable photo essay!

  2. Andrew, enjoyed the write-up as well. The shots are all great but I especially love Typhoon Sky. Hope to cross paths with you in HK sometime.

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