Tai O faces flooding threat, expert warns

A former Hong Kong Observatory official has warned of a high risk of flooding in Tai O and other low-lying areas from Typhoon Nida.

Leung Wing-mo, a former HKO assistant director, says that Nida's expected landfall tonight coincides with the monthly high tide, where water levels will be 1m higher than usual. If the typhoon hits western Hong Kong, as is widely predicted, “low-lying areas like Tai O have the prospect of facing a greater risk of flooding,” RTHK reported.

Some Tai O residents say authorities built a breakwater in Tai O after Typhoon Hagupit in 2008, but are not certain about how effective that will be, RTHK said.

The Observatory hoisted the T3 strong wind signal at 11:45 and says it will consider raising the T8 signal between 6-10pm tonight. In its 1:45pm bulletin it said wind speeds would increase significantly around dusk.

According to the present forecast track, Nida will be rather close to Hong Kong tonight to Tuesday morning. There will be squalls, heavy rain and rough seas after sunset. There may be flooding in low-lying areas. If Nida directly hits Hong Kong or skirts just to the south of the territory, Hong Kong will be more severely affected. In particular, if the storm surge brought about by Nida coincides with the high tide on Tuesday morning, the threat of flooding will further increase.

New World First Ferry said its last inter-islands ferry would sail from Mui Wo at 6:15pm. It has not made any announcement about the Central-Mui Wo service.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair have suspended all flights out of Hong Kong from 10pm until 1pm tomorrow.

New Lantao Bus said services are continuing as normal.

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