Typhoon signal upgraded to No. 3 in Hong Kong as tropical storm Mulan looms

Track of tropical storm Mulan. Photo: Hong Kong Observatory
Track of tropical storm Mulan. Photo: Hong Kong Observatory

Hong Kong’s meteorological agency upgraded its typhoon warning to signal No. 3 on Tuesday morning as a tropical storm looms.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the strong wind signal, No. 3 – its second lowest alert level – at 11:25am, around eight hours after hoisting the lower standby signal, No. 1.

The No. 3 signal means that winds with mean speeds of 41 to 62 kilometers per hour are expected.

The forecaster said on its website on Tuesday that as of 6pm, tropical storm Mulan was estimated to be about 510 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong and is forecast to move north at about 18 kilometers per hour toward the vicinity of western Guangdong and Hainan Island, and intensify gradually.

Track of tropical storm Mulan. Photo: Hong Kong Observatory

“The broad outer rainbands associated with Mulan are affecting the northern part of the South China Sea and the coast of Guangdong, bringing heavy showers, violent gusts and thunderstorms to the territory,” it said. 

The forecaster added that since the region of gale force winds near the center of Mulan is relatively small and still rather far from the coast of Guangdong, unless the storm strengthens significantly, or takes a track closer to Hong Kong, the No. 3 signal will remain in force before 10pm tonight (Aug. 9).

Locally, winds are generally strong, and under the influence of showers, there will be violent gusts, and winds over the offshore waters and on high ground will occasionally reach gale force, it said.

The observatory added it will closely monitor the development and movement of Mulan to assess the need for issuing higher signals.

Earlier in the day, the Education Bureau announced that classes for kindergartens, schools for children with physical disability and schools for children with intellectual disability were suspended for the day after the typhoon warning was issued. 

“These schools, however, should keep their premises open and implement contingency measures to look after arriving students. They should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home,” it added.

The observatory urged members of the public to take precautionary measures and stay tuned to its latest information on the tropical cyclone.

It advised the public to stay away from the shoreline and low-lying areas, and not to engage in watersports as the seas are very rough and there are swells. 

It also urged the public to avoid staying in areas exposed to high winds, while drivers using highways and flyovers should be alert to violent gusts.

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