Typhoon Talim: Hong Kong and Macao brace as powerful storm heads for China coast

‘State of immediate prevention’ issued in Macao early Monday to weather any risks from typhoon Talim

Maroosha Muzaffar
Monday 17 July 2023 11:07 BST
Boats are parked at a typhoon shelter in Tseun Wan as a precaution for the approaching Typhoon Talim in Hong Kong on 16 July 2023
Boats are parked at a typhoon shelter in Tseun Wan as a precaution for the approaching Typhoon Talim in Hong Kong on 16 July 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Hong Kong was brought to a standstill on Monday morning in the wake of powerful typhoon Talim, while “a state of immediate prevention” was issued for nearby Macao.

At least 2,000 commuters in Hong Kong faced flight delays and cancellations in the wake of typhoon Talim, reported local media, while the alert for Macao was issued from 5.30am on Monday by its chief executive Ho Iat Seng.

Hong Kong is facing its first typhoon this year, with the administration warning residents to brace for the powerful storm.

Schools have been shut and ferries brought to a halt as most government services ceased operations as well.

The Airport Authority said at least 16 flights were cancelled, and an additional six flights were delayed due to the typhoon. The routes to mainland China were most affected, impacting approximately 1,200 to 2,000 travellers.

The Hong Kong Observatory, however, announced that it could downgrade the No 8 signal issued earlier on Monday to the No 3 alert at 4.20pm local time.

“Whether the Signal No.8 will remain in force thereafter will depend on Talim’s speed of departure from the Pearl River Estuary and the change in wind strength over the territory, as well as how persistent the gusts associated with the rain bands of Talim will affect Hong Kong,” the Hong Kong Observatory said in a statement.

A No 8 typhoon signal is the third-highest warning under the city’s weather system. This decision was made as typhoon Talim began to move away from Hong Kong. The Observatory said that the local winds were also weakening.

Meanwhile, the No 8 signal was also issued for Macao at 5.30am.

Macao’s chief executive said there might be flooding in low-lying areas, caused by the combined effect of a high tide linked to astronomical conditions, and strong wind and rain associated with the passing weather system, said a government release.

Mr lat Seng said the “utmost effort” should be applied to curb risks associated with the storm for the protection of the citizens and their property.

He also directed Macao’s civil protection management team to “remain vigilant regarding the risk of possible adverse conditions during the current alert”.

Macao’s Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau was also directed to monitor the storm closely. Mr lat Seng said the public should also “pay close attention to information issued by the Government regarding civil protection steps and weather conditions”.

“However, the gales associated with Talim are still affecting the vicinity of the Pearl River Estuary. Gale force winds will still affect the offshore waters to the southwestern part of Hong Kong at first, and storm force winds will occur on high ground. The rain bands of Talim will also bring violent gusts to Hong Kong,” it added.

The typhoon is expected to make landfall in southern China, leading the China Meteorological Administration to issue an orange alert.

The South China Morning Post newspaper reported that as of 2pm local time, Talim was centred about 280km southwest of Hong Kong.

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