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Typhoon Usagi is coming!

“Monster Super Typhoon” Usagi bears down on Hong Kong

Typhoon Usagi HKO tropical cyclone track

Typhoon Usagi is coming. It’s Saturday afternoon – blue skies and a hot hot 34°C day in Hong Kong. Nothing could possibly hint towards the chaos raging 700km out over the sea.

There’s been a subtle pick up in the wind the past few hours; a few eyes rising skywards as this morning’s blueness gradually recedes. We’ll know in the next twenty four hours what our fate will be. But if Usagi’s current projected course is anything to go by, Hong Kong is in for a battering.

A “Monster Super Typhoon”, The Independent has called it (“Monster Super” evidently being the journalistic “fourth category” in the current Typhoon, Severe Typhoon, Super Typhoon ranking employed by the Hong Kong Observatory). Usagi is the “strongest storm to form on earth this year” whose winds have increased to an estimated 160 mph and rising. That’s the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane.

To put it into perspective, Hurricane Sandy, which caused such chaos up and down the eastern coast of the United States last year – that was a mere category 3 hurricane at its peak. “Please stay away from windows and avoid venturing outdoors.”

Right now, it’s the calm before the storm. The T1 strong wind signal went up mid-afternoon, and I’m nothing if not excited. I waited three years for my first “proper” typhoon and then the T10 Typhoon Vicente arrived last July to satisfy my curiosity. If Typhoon Usagi sticks to its present course, you can be certain we won’t be waiting another 15 years for the next one.

You can check out my photos of the Typhoon Vicente aftermath at tag:typhoons. Hopefully I’ll have plenty of Typhoon Usagi photographs in a few days time. So check back next week.

In the meantime, stock up, and stay safe!

A tree uprooted by Typhoon Vicente lies on the pavement on Hennessey Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, on July 24, 2012.

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