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Typhoon Nuri (0812)
17 ?23 August 2008

Nuri was the fourth tropical cyclone that necessitated the issuance of tropical cyclone warning signals in Hong Kong in 2008.   It also the necessitated the issuance of the Increasing Gale or Storm Signal No. 9.  This was the first No. 9 signal since the passage of Typhoon Dujuan in September 2003.

Nuri formed as a tropical depression over the western North Pacific about 2 500 km east-southeast of Hong Kong on the evening of 17 August and moved westwards.  It intensified into a tropical storm on the morning of 18 August and a severe tropical storm that evening, and further into a typhoon on 19 August and moved west-northwestwards.  Nuri crossed the Balintang Channel on 20 August and entered the South China Sea that evening.  It passed close to Dongsha on the evening of 21 August and turned to move northwestwards in the general direction of Hong Kong.  Nuri made landfall near the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Sai Kung area over the eastern part of Hong Kong at around 4.50 p.m. on 22 August and weakened into a severe tropical storm.  Under the effect of terrain, the circulation of Nuri re-organized itself.  The original centre moved northwestwards and dissipated rapidly.  A new centre formed near Tseung Kwan O and turned to move westwards, passing over the eastern part of Victoria Harbour and the southern part of Kowloon Peninsula within 1 km south of the Hong Kong Observatory Headquarters.  The centre of Nuri then passed to the south of Tsing Yi Island, and turned northwards to cross the northeastern part of Lantau Island, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long that evening.  Nuri then crossed Deep Bay, the western part of Shenzhen and the Pearl River Estuary that night and made a second landfall near Nansha subsequently.  Nuri weakened into a tropical storm on the small hours of 23 August and a tropical depression that morning.  It weakened further into an area of low pressure over Guangdong later that morning.  According to press reports, at least four people were killed in Guangdong, over 910 000 people and over 53 000 hectares of crops were affected during the passage of Nuri.  The direct economic losses in Guangdong were around 0.4 billion yuan.

In Hong Kong, the Standby Signal No. 1 was issued at 6.15 p.m. on 20 August when Nuri was about 750 km east-southeast of Hong Kong.  As Nuri moved closer to Hong Kong, the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 was issued at 8.40 p.m. on 21 August when Nuri was about 310 km to the southeast. The winds over Hong Kong were mainly light to moderate northeasterlies that day, with strong northeasterlies setting in over the southeastern part of the Hong Kong waters that evening.  As Nuri continued to move closer and local winds continued to strengthen, the No. 8 NW Gale or Storm Signal was issued at 7.40 a.m. on 22 August when Nuri was about 140 km to the southeast.  Local winds became generally strong that morning, with gales offshore and on high grounds and occasionally reaching storm force.  The Increasing Gale or Storm Signal No. 9 was issued at 1.40 p.m. that day when Nuri was about 40 km to the east-southeast of the Observatory.  The centre of Nuri passed through Hong Kong in the late afternoon and evening and local winds weakened temporarily.  However, gale to storm force southwesterly winds affected the offshore waters and high grounds again that night.  With Nuri moving inland and the storm force winds offshore subsiding, the No. 8 SW Gale or Storm Signal was issued at 12.40 a.m. on 23 August.  It was replaced by the No. 3 Strong Wind Signal at 2.40 a.m. as the gales generally subsided.  The No. 1 Signal was issued at 9.40 a.m. that day and all tropical cyclone warning signals were cancelled at 11.15 a.m. as Nuri moved further away and local winds continued to subside. 

During the passage of Nuri, the lowest instantaneous mean sea-level pressures recorded at some selected stations were as follows :-


Lowest instantaneous
mean sea-level pressure


First and last time recorded

Hong Kong Observatory Headquarters

982.3 hPa


3.46 4.12 p.m.

Waglan Island

979.5 hPa


12.53 - 2.40 p.m.

Peng Chau

983.4 hPa


4.34 p.m.

Hong Kong International Airport

985.5 hPa


4.01 - 4.02 p.m.

Lau Fau Shan

984.2 hPa


3.31 4.37 p.m.

 The weather was fine and very hot on 20 August.  The weather became cloudy with a few showers on 21 August.  It was overcast with squalls and heavy rain on 22 August.   The weather became mainly cloudy with showers on 23 August.    

In Hong Kong, two people, including one swimmer and one Launch Mechanic, were killed and over 112 others were injured during the passage of Nuri.  There were 122 reports of fallen or dangerous trees, more than 31 cases of dangerous signboards and eight reports of collapsed scaffolding. In particular, traffic in part of Nathan Road in Mongkok were disrupted for about 9 hours due to collapsed scaffolding.  In Causeway Bay, the outer walls of the roof top of a building were damaged.  The roof of two roof-top buildings were blown lose in Kwun Tong and Cheung Chau respectively. In Sham Shui Po, fallen scaffoldings damaged four vehicles nearby and injured two people.  About 250 passengers had to be evacuated when a train was hit by a tree between Sha Tin and Tai Wai.  Fishing rafts in Tai Po were severely damaged and the losses were estimated to be around three million Hong Kong dollars.  At the Hong Kong International Airport, over 590 flights were either cancelled, delayed or diverted.


Last revision date: <20 Dec 2012>