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Decommissioning of the tropical cyclone and strong monsoon signals station at Cheung Chau (31 December 2001)

 

With effect from 1 January 2002, tropical cyclone and strong monsoon signals will no longer be hoisted at the signal station at Cheung Chau.

In recent year, comprehensive and up-to-date information on tropical cyclones and associated weather are issued by the Hong Kong Observatory and broadcast to the public through radio and TV stations frequently. People on the move can use their mobile phones to gain ready access to these information via the Observatory's Dial-a-Weather service (tel nos.: 1878 200 for Cantonese, 1878 202 for Putonghua and 1878 066 for English), Telephone Information Enquiry System (tel no.: 2926 1133) and webpage (http://www.weather.gov.hk). The information includes storm movement, possibility of signal changes and precautionary actions. A signal station cannot convey these important messages.

The Hong Kong Observatory started to provide a tropical cyclone warning service to the local public in 1884. At that time, a typhoon gun was used. In 1917, a numbered signal system was implemented for warning wind conditions in the territory. Different signals were illustrated by different symbols and these were hoisted to indicate the prevailing wind conditions. In the 1960s, there were over 40 signal stations around Hong Kong. As the electronic media became popular, the information that could be conveyed through signal stations became inadequate and these stations were systematically closed since the 1970s.

The decommissioning of Hong Kong's last signal station at Cheung Chau marked the end of an era of signal stations. From now on, tropical cyclone and strong monsoon signals will be issued or cancelled rather than hoisted or lowered.

Last revision date: <20 Dec 2012>