The Hong Kong Observatory hoisted the Standby Signal, No. 1 at 2.40pm on Monday as Typhoon Koinu continued past the city. This will replace Strong Wind Signal, No. 3 that the city’s meteorological body issued on Monday morning as Koinu went past the territory, and weakened to a Severe Tropical Storm.

Despite Koinu gradually departing the city, the rainbands associated with the weather system will bring squally showers, which will be heavy at times, and thunderstorms to Hong Kong, said observatory officials. The Amber Rainstorm Warning Signal is currently in place.

current track of typhoon koinu
The current track of Typhoon Koinu (Screenshot from Hong Kong Observatory)

Schools cancelled on Monday for the whole day

As the T8 signal was lifted after 10.30am, all classes of schools remain cancelled for the day. However, now that the T3 signal is downgraded to T1, and the Amber Rainstorm warning has replaced the Red Rainstorm warning, all schools can reopen tomorrow morning, in accordance with Education Bureau regulations.

All ferry services will resume by Monday afternoon, as will the MTR’s bus services and its complete train operations.

Over 200 flights disrupted

Prior to issuing the T8 Signal on Sunday night, the observatory raised the issued the Increasing Gale or Storm Signal, No. 9 earlier in the evening. As a result, the MTR had to limit its train operations, and suspend the Airport Express as some of its track runs overground. This caused massive wait times for incoming passengers at the airport, as there were no buses running and taxi queues were backed up for more than three hours. However, the Airport Express provided overnight services between 1am and 3am on Monday to cope with the passenger backlog at the airport.

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According to a report in the South China Morning Post, more than 200 flights were cancelled or delayed on Sunday because of Koinu, and arriving passengers stranded at the airport struggled to book hotel rooms nearby late in the night. Incoming passengers affected by the sudden suspension of public transport took to social media to share images and videos of queues at the airport arrivals hall and in front of the Airport Express.

Queues of passengers waiting for the Airport Express to resume services on Sunday night (@lucxurytraveling via Instagram)

Earlier, it was thought that Koinu would edge past Hong Kong and stay more than 100km south of the city. The observatory hoisted the Strong Wind Signal, No. 3 on Friday evening, but then raised No. 8 Gale or Storm Signal on Sunday afternoon as the weather system intensified and took a more northerly track.

The city has seen more typhoons and longer rain warnings than usual this summer, when T8 was hoisted for Typhoon Talim in July, and T10 was raised for Typhoon Saola in September, for the first time since Typhoon Mangkhut hit the city in 2018. In addition, the longest Black Rain warning in the city’s history was issued just a week later when the SAR saw its heaviest rainfall in 140 years.

Header image credits: The Lord Of Avamlar via X / Clithering via Wikimedia Commons

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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