Shelter appeals for help caring for dogs during storm, as observatory issues latest prediction for super typhoon Mangkhut

Via Catherine’s Puppies
Via Catherine’s Puppies

As super typhoon Mangkhut closes in, a dog shelter in Hong Kong is appealing for help in keeping some of their pooches safe during the storm.

Fearing their small Sai Kung shelter may suffer significant damage, Catherine’s Puppies has turned to social media to find foster carers willing to take dogs this weekend.

The center’s founder, Catherine Lumsden, said about 18 dogs would need a place to stay, but cautioned they would require care by people with experience.

“They are some of our timid dogs and may need to go out in a cage, but even if they can be kept in a bathroom and fed, that would be better,” Lumsden told Coconuts HK, adding the shelter was also looking for volunteers, particularly anyone with construction experience, to help prepare the shelter.

Currently, volunteer workmen are securing the center’s tin roof and Lumsden said she was hoping it would hold firm. If not, there’s a chance the small shelter would have to cease operating. (If you can help, WhatsApp: 6799 7530)

Mangkhut, which could be the most powerful storm to hit the city since records began, is currently bearing down on the Philippines, where our sister site, Coconuts Manila, is reporting the latest developments.

It’s expected to make landfall on the northern part of Luzon before entering the South China Sea on Saturday.

Super typhoon Mangkhut off the coast of the Philippines. Via HKO
Super typhoon Mangkhut off the coast of the Philippines. Via HKO

Speaking to Coconuts HK, Chan Ying-wa, a senior scientific officer at the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), said the latest forecast had the storm skirting within 100 to 200 kilometers of the city on “later on Sunday.”

Given its large circulation, the threat posed was “severe,” he said, with the estimated radius of gale force winds reaching about 400 kilometers. The weather service may issue a standby warning tonight. It also has a very hot weather warning in place, as subsiding air coming off the typhoon may lead to temperatures of up to 35 degrees celsius tomorrow.

“Super typhoon Mangkhut took a north westward track toward Luzon, and the track towards the vicinity of the pearl river estuary has increased,” he said.

“Mangkhut will move across the northern part of Luzon and enter the South China Sea tomorrow. The outer subsiding air will bring very hot weather to Guangdong. There will be swells over the coastal waters. Mangkhut will edge closer to the coast of Guangdong on Sunday, and the weather will deteriorate significantly, with frequent heavy rain, squalls and storm surge over the region.”

“At low lying areas, the backwash of sea water will cause flooding.”

The forecast track of super typhoon mangkhut to the south of Hong Kong. Via HKO
The forecast track of super typhoon mangkhut to the south of Hong Kong. Via HKO

The government today started preparations to evacuate residents in at-risk areas, particularly the coastal village of Tai O on Lantau, where coaches will be sent tomorrow to evacuate potentially hundreds of residents on a voluntary basis.

The measures are part of an emergency response plan adopted by the government, which will open more than 40 emergency shelters, including 19 night shelters. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government was taking every precaution.

“If you read the news, both local and overseas news, you will see that this is really a very big storm, and over the last few months, including up to this moment, parts of the world are also affected by very severe typhoons,” she said in a statement.

“So, in Hong Kong, we have a duty as the government to make all the necessary preparations.”

Back on to the topic of pets, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has urged people whose dog or cat lives or goes outside to keep them safe inside during the storm.

For people who spot animals in danger, they can call the SPCA’s 24-hour hotline at 2711 1000. The organization’s emergency vet team can also be contacted at the same number.

For updates, check the HKO website.

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