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Tropical Cyclones Affecting Hong Kong in 2002

3.3  Severe Tropical Storm Hagupit (0218) : 10 - 13 September 2002

Hagupit was the first tropical cyclone that necessitated the issuance of the Gale or Storm Signal No. 8 this year.

Hagupit developed as a tropical depression at about 140 km southeast of Dongsha Dao on 10 September and moved steadily to the west-northwest over the northern part of the South China Sea. It intensified rapidly into a tropical storm the same night and became a severe tropical storm on 11 September. The maximum wind speed near its centre was about 110 km/h. On 12 September, Hagupit made landfall near Yangjiang of western Guangdong and weakened into a tropical storm. It then turned west and weakened further into a tropical depression that night. Hagupit weakened into an area of low pressure over the coastal areas of Guangxi on the early morning of 13 September.

During the passage of Hagupit, more than 20 fishing boats or freight vessels with over 200 people on board were in danger off the coast of Guangdong. One of the ships sank and another lost contact with the rescue centre, leaving at least 20 persons missing. The high winds and heavy rain associated with Hagupit also damaged some houses and farmlands over western Guangdong.

In Hong Kong, the Standby Signal No. 1 was issued at 2.40 p.m. on 10 September, shortly after Hagupit formed at about 460 km to the southeast. On 10 September, the weather was at first hazy with light to moderate northerly winds. In the afternoon, the outer rainbands of Hagupit began to bring squally thunderstorms and showers to Hong Kong. As Hagupit continued to intensify and moved towards the coast of Guangdong, the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 was issued at 5.40 a.m. on 11 September. Local winds strengthened from the east and reached gale force over Waglan Island on 11 September. With Hagupit edging towards Hong Kong and intensified into a severe tropical storm before noontime, the Hong Kong Observatory issued the No. 8 SOUTHEAST Gale or Storm Signal at 1.40 p.m. on 11 September. In the next few hours, winds offshore and on high ground reached storm force and wind direction changing from east to southeast. The highest sustained wind speed recorded at Cheung Chau was about 100 km/h. Hagupit was closest to Hong Kong at about 3 p.m. when it was about 150 km to the south-southwest. The lowest instantaneous mean sea-level pressures recorded at some places of Hong Kong during the passage of Hagupit were as follows:

Station Lowest instantaneous
mean sea-level
pressure (hPa)
Time Date/Month
Hong Kong Observatory
1001.0 05:14 11/9
Ta Kwu Ling 1001.9 05:32 11/9
Waglan Island 999.9 06:49 11/9
Cheung Chau 1000.4 05:20 11/9

Following the departure of Hagupit to the west and the abatement of local winds, the No. 8 SOUTHEAST Gale or Storm Signal was replaced by the Strong Wind Signal No. 3 at 1.40 a.m. on 12 September. After Hagupit made landfall near Yangjiang and weakened, all tropical cyclone warning signals were cancelled at 5.40 a.m. the same day.

Locally, 32 persons were injured during the passage of Hagupit. In the high winds, trees and scaffolding toppled at various places over the territory. The scaffolding which collapsed in Central blocked the nearby traffic for about two hours. Over the adjacent waters, three fishing boats were in danger and a total of 37 fishermen on board were rescued by the Government Flying Service. In the airport, over 40 flights were cancelled and many other flights were delayed. Ferry services to outlying islands and some bus routes were also suspended.

Information on wind, rainfall and tide during the passage of Hagupit is given in Tables 3.3.1 - 3.3.3. Figures 3.3.1 and 3.3.2 show the track of Hagupit and the rainfall distribution in Hong Kong respectively. The time series of the wind speed recorded at Cheung Chau is given in figure 3.3.3. Figures 3.3.4 and 3.3.5 are the satellite and radar imagery of Hagupit.

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Last revision date: <18 Dec 2012>