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Super Typhoon Megi

Super Typhoon Megi (1013)
13 24 October 2010

        Megi was the fifth tropical cyclone that necessitated the issuance of a tropical cyclone warning signal by the Hong Kong Observatory in 2010. It was also the first super typhoon over the western North Pacific in 2010.

        Megi formed as a tropical depression over the western North Pacific about 450 km west-southwest of Guam on 13 October and moved west-northwestwards. It intensified into a tropical storm that evening. On 15 October, Megi moved northwestwards and gradually intensified into a typhoon over the Pacific to the east of the Philippines. Megi moved west-northwestwards the next day. It turned to move west-southwestwards and became a super typhoon on 17 October, reaching its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of about 230 km/h near its centre. Megi crossed Luzon on 18 October and weakened into a severe typhoon. It slowed down and moved generally westwards on 19 October, but turned to move generally northwards the next day. Megi weakened into typhoon over the northeastern part of the South China Sea on 22 October. It made landfall over the coast of Zhangpu, Fujian on 23 October and weakened into a severe tropical storm. Megi continued to move further inland and dissipated on the morning of 24 October over Fujian. According to press reports, Megi caused the death of at least 36 people in the Philippines. It also triggered landslides and destroyed some 1 000 houses. The damage to rice crops amounted to 1.5 billion paso (around 270 million Hong Kong dollars). Megi brought heavy rain to Taiwan, triggering landslides and caused the death of at least 13 people with 26 others missing, including 21 people in a bus missing during a landslide along a highway. In Fujian, more than 640 000 people were affected and the direct economic losses were around 1.6 billion yuan. A freighter and a fishing boat sank in the waters of Fujian and Zhejiang respectively, with one person killed and 20 others missing. In addition, Megi destroyed more than 2 000 fishing boats in Gulei, Fujian.

       In Hong Kong, the Standby Signal No. 1 was issued at 4:35 p.m. on 20 October when Megi was about 570 km south-southeast of Hong Kong. Winds in Hong Kong were fresh north to northeasterlies, occasionally strong over offshore waters and on high ground. With Megi edging closer to the south China coast and under the combined effect of Megi and the northeast monsoon, the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 was issued at 5:40 a.m. on 21 October when Megi was about 480 km southeast of Hong Kong. Winds strengthened to become fresh northerlies, strong offshore and occasionally reaching gale force on high ground that day. At the Hong Kong Observatory Headquarters, the lowest instantaneous mean sea-level pressure of 1002.0 hPa was recorded at 2:34 p.m. on 21 October when Megi was located about 440 km to the southeast. Megi came as close as 430 km to the east-southeast at about 2 a.m. on 22 October. It weakened into a typhoon towards the evening. Local winds also decreased gradually and the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 was replaced by the Standby Signal No. 1 at 6:05 p.m. All signals were cancelled at 8:40 p.m. as winds subsided further. 

       Under the combined influence of the northeast monsoon and Megi, it was mainly cloudy and dry on 20 October. There were a few showers on 21 and 22 October under the influence of the outer rainbands of Megi.

       During the period when the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 was issued, a 50-metre crane on a construction site in Tsing Yi collapsed. No one was injured in the incident. In Hong Kong, there were at least 10 reports of fallen trees during the approach of Megi. There were reports of branches of large trees being blown down by winds in the Upper Albert Road in Central, Tung Tau Estate in Kowloon City and Route Twisk in Tai Mo Shan, affecting traffic in the areas.