Public services in Hong Kong gradually came back to normal on Tuesday, as Tropical Cyclone Merbok, which once triggered a warning of No. 8 Gale or Storm Signal, was moving away.
The Hong Kong Observatory downgraded warning for Merbok from No. 8 Southwest Gale or Storm Signal to No. 3 Strong Wind Signal at 4:40 a.m. Tuesday, and canceled the warning at 11:10 a.m.
The observatory said on its website that due to rainbands associated with Merbok, rainfall exceeding 100 millimeters had been recorded in many parts of Hong Kong since midnight. An Amber Rainstorm Warning Signal was issued in early Tuesday, and was once upgraded to Red Rainstorm Warning Signal in the morning. The storm warning was canceled shortly after noon.
According to information released by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), 10 people sought medical treatment at public hospitals, and 239 people sought refuge at the Home Affairs Department's temporary shelters during the storm. The HKSAR government's public service call center received 20 reports of fallen trees.
Because of the storm warning, some schools and kindergartens in Hong Kong were suspended on Tuesday. Cable car riding at tourism hotspot Ngong Ping 360 was also suspended.
After the cancellation of storm warning, public transport started to gradually normalize. The Airport Authority told Xinhua on phone that as of Tuesday noon, the numbers of canceled and delayed flights have reduced to 17 and 181 respectively.
The Hong Kong-Macao Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan and the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, which had been closed since the issue of No. 8 Gale or Storm Signal on Monday afternoon, were reopened Tuesday morning, the HKSAR government's Marine Department announced.
The Marine Department also announced that it has received notification from the Hong Kong Pilots Association Limited that the pilotage service will partially resume from 4 p.m. Tuesday and will fully resume when weather conditions improve.
The Hong Kong Observatory forecasted that Merbok will move across the southeastern part of China and dissipate gradually, while Hong Kong will still see showers and thunderstorms in the following couple of days.