Tai O appears set to be flooded once again tonight with typhoon Khanun expected to pass within 200 kilometres of the city this afternoon.
Hong Kong Observatory says tides are now running more than 50 centimetres above normal. “A high tide will occur tonight and cause flooding in some low-lying areas,” it adds.
Tai O, located at sea level on Lantau’s western edge, has already been flooded twice this year. Typhoons Hato and Pakhar hit the city within a a few days of each other in August, swelling Tai O’s water level to 3.7 metres and leaving the villages with a clean-up that took weeks.
District Councillor Randy Yu has called for the creation of a “post-crisis mechanism” to help Tai O and other low-lying villages deal with floods.
The Observatory says the storm Signal 8 will likely remain in force for most of the afternoon. According to its 12:45pm bulletin:
Local winds are turning northeasterlies, and are forecast to become easterlies later. Areas which were previously sheltered will become exposed and winds will strengthen. Members of the public should stay on the alert.
In the past hour, the maximum sustained winds recorded at Green Island, Sha Chau and Tai Mei Tuk were 70, 68 and 63 kilometres per hour with maximum gusts 91, 96 and 101 kilometres per hour respectively.