You know something's amiss when
Hong Kong roads get this quiet...
Further signs that a typhoon swept into town today
One of many umbrellas bent out of shape
and no match at all for a typhoon's strong winds
A couple of days ago, the mercury soared to 37.7 degrees Celsius in some areas of Hong Kong. Worse was to come the day after, when Hong Kong experienced its hottest day since records started being kept in 1884: with the temperature reaching as high as 39 degrees Celsius over at the Hong Kong Wetland Park -- and people's physical discomfort when outdoors being exercerbated by air pollution having hit "serious" or "very high" health risk levels. All this was due in no small part to a major typhoon approaching Hong Kong.
For much of today, Typhoon Hato brought Hong Kong to a standstill. For the first time in five years (i.e., since Typhoon Vicente blew into town in July 2012), Typhoon Signal Number 10 (T10) was raised by the Hong Kong Observatory. Even more astoundingly, Li Ka Shing's Force Field failed during the day (rather than during nightfall); resulting in the vast majority of businesses along with the stock exchange, schools and such remaining closed for much of the day, if not all of today!
For much of the day, the majority of folks here in Hong Kong stayed at home while, outside, gale force winds blew, lots of rain fell and the sky stayed dark and gray even at noon. Every once in a while, I would hear something come crashing down outside -- with the loudest noice having been caused by a hunk of wood the size of a door falling from several floors on high onto my apartment complex's podium garden!
Amazingly, a couple of friends reported feeling their buildings swaying during T10, prompting me to be all the more grateful once more for my having elected against living on a high floor in one of Hong Kong's many high-rise residential buildings! But for a taste of the power of Typhoon Hato, it's hard to beat checking out the scenes featured in this video and hearing the sounds in this other video captured from a 25th floor flat. Scary but also awesome, right? ;b