‘High’ probability of No. 8 signal this afternoon as Saola hurtles towards Macau: SMG

2023-09-01 03:02     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:1

Predicting that Super Typhoon “Saola” will be located within 300 kilometres of Macau this morning, the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) said in a statement late last night that there is a “high” probability of hoisting the No.8 signal between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. today.

The observatory also said that the probability of the hoisting of the No.9 signal in the wee hours of tomorrow and the No.10 signal early tomorrow morning was “medium to relatively high” and “medium” respectively.

The observatory issued the No.3 signal at 11 p.m. yesterday to replace the No.1 standby signal which had remained in effect since 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

“As the winds over the bridges are expected to be strong and gusty, drivers are advised to pay attention to traffic safety,” the bureau said, urging motorcyclists to travel between the peninsula and Taipa on the motorcycle lanes on Sai Van Bridge.

Saola, which was located about 360-kilometres east of Macau at 1 a.m. yesterday, was expected to move west-north-westward towards the coast of eastern Guangdong in the next couple of days, gradually approaching the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.

In response to the forecast that flooding of up to 1.5 metres will occur in low-lying areas, the weather station noted in the statement a “relatively high” probability of issuing an Orange Storm Surge warning during the daytime today, while the probability of issuing a Red Storm Surge warning during the nighttime was “medium”.

A Red Storm Surge warning is issued only when the flood level is forecast to reach between 1.5 metres and 2.5 metres above the road surface.

Meanwhile, the bureau held a special press conference yesterday afternoon concerning the super typhoon, during which SMG Chief Meteorologist Lok Chan Wa briefed the media on two possible effects of Saola on the city.

“According to the current monitoring data, even a small change in the track and intensity of Saola’s development could have a very different impact on Macau,” Lok said yesterday afternoon, adding that Macau would suffer a great threat from Saola with heavy showers and thunderstorms in combination with large accumulated rainfall if it does not make landfall in the city, but passing within 100-kilometres south of the PRD vicinity as a typhoon or higher storm level and directly along the coastal seas near Macau.

If Saola makes landfall on the east coast of Guangdong before approaching Macau along the coastal area and weakens to below typhoon category, there would also be heavy showers and thunderstorms but the impact on Macau would only be “minor”, Lok noted.

SMG Deputy Director Tang Iu Man pointed out that Saola had a very strong central wind at the time the press conference was held, reaching 200 km/h, which could not be ruled out as the strongest typhoon to land in Guangdong since 1949, adding that it could be similar to “Mangkhut” that hit Macau in 2018.

Unlike Mangkhut which had a big storm circle, according to Tang, Saola has a small storm circle, with its “strongest wind range of only about 70 to 80 kilometres”, he added. Therefore, Tang stressed, if Saola is located more than 100 kilometres away from Macau, there was a “very low” probability of hoisting the No.10 signal.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the No.8 signal at 2:40 a.m. as “Saola will be rather close to Hong Kong later today and will pose a threat to Hong Kong”.

New school year starts next Monday

Meanwhile, the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) announced yesterday the delay of the start of the new school year for the city’s kindergartens and primary and secondary schools from today to next Monday at the earliest, in consideration of the “gradually apparent” impact brought about by Saola.

Ferry service suspended today

Meanwhile, the Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) announced in two separate statements last night the suspension of the Macau-Wanzai ferry service, as well as all ferry sailings between Macau and Hong Kong today, with the last ferry departing from the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal in Zape and Taipa Ferry Terminal in Pac On from 11:59 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. yesterday.

Flights axed today & tomorrow

Many flights at the local airport have been suspended for today and tomorrow, including flights to Bangkok, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Shanghai, Taipei and Xiamen, among other destinations.

As long as the No.8 signal is hoisted, public bus and light rail transit (LRT) services remain suspended. However, taxi services continue to operate. Customarily, public entities such as government offices and banks will remain closed, as well as subsidised day service facilities across the city, including nurseries (creches) and daycare and rehabilitation service facilities, but Macau’s casinos customarily will stay open. The three Macau-Taipa bridges will be closed to vehicular traffic with the exception of the enclosed lower deck of Sai Van Bridge which will open to car traffic.

The government’s four emergency shelters and 17 evacuation centres will open to the public when the No.8 signal and the Orange Storm Surge warning take effect respectively.

Market report brisk pre-typhoon sales

Meanwhile, Macau’s supermarkets and wet markets reported yesterday brisk sales of foodstuffs in anticipation of shoppers’ supply fears during the typhoon. Fresh vegetables and bread reportedly sold like hot cakes.

The Economic and Technological Development Bureau (DSEDT) urged the public last night not to overbuy or hoard foodstuffs in preparation for the possible impact of Super Typhoon Saola.

Buyers queue at a fruit and vegetables shop last night to stock up before the expected arrival of Super Typhoon Saola today. – Photo: MPDG

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  • visitors2023090212:442023-09-02 12:44

    all you lowlife there can drown