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Precautions urged against winds from tropical cyclones and thunderstorms (20 May 2009)

Disaster preparedness is the key to minimising loss of life, injury and property damage during the rain and tropical cyclone season, which has now begun.

The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Dr Lee Boon-ying said today (20 May) that tropical cyclones each year caused high winds and torrential rain in Hong Kong.  Rain associated with thunderstorms brought lightning and squalls to the territory from time to time and induced gusts of up to 135 kilometres per hour are known to have affected
Hong Kong.

He appealed to civil engineers, architects, contractors and container terminal operators to ensure that scaffolding, neon signs, temporary structures and containers (in particular empty containers) were properly secured or attended to when a Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal or the Thunderstorm Warning was issued by the Hong Kong Observatory.

uring passage of tropical cyclones, advisory information is provided by the Observatory in its Tropical Cyclone Warning Bulletins which are broadcast by the media and made available on  The Observatory also provides regional wind information on its website ( and through the Dial-a-Weather service (Tel: 187 8200).

When gusts greater than 70 kilometres per hour associated with thunderstorms have been recorded or are expected in any part of Hong Kong, the Observatory will provide gust information or alerts in the Thunderstorm Warning. In addition, real-time display of maximum gusts recorded at various places in Hong Kong is available on the Observatory's website
 (  Real-time display of weather radar images overlaid with lightning locations can be viewed on

The public may like to refer to guidelines from the Labour Department: "Guide on safety at work in times of inclement weather"
the booklet "Code of Practice in Times of Typhoons and Rainstorms"
 ( and draw up appropriate contingency plans and measures to deal with heavy rain, thunderstorms, severe gusts and high winds ahead of time to minimise possible loss and damage.



Last revision date: <21 Dec 2012>