Sluggish Bebinca keeps us all guessing

Local | Sophie Hui 14 Aug 2018

The Standby Signal No 1 has remained in force for more than four days, the second-longest period in history, as Tropical Storm Bebinca has been moving at a sluggish pace.

Bebinca was about 210 kilometers south-southwest of Hong Kong and moving slowly.

The Hong Kong Observatory forecasts that the cyclone will continue moving slowly on an erratic track.

The observatory says it is unlikely to raise the Strong Wind Signal No 3 unless Bebinca strengthens significantly or takes a more northeasterly course and moves closer to the Pearl River Delta region.

"It is lingering around the sea off the coast of western Guangdong and remains 200 kilometers from Hong Kong. Unless it intensifies significantly, the chance of hoisting the No 3 signal is small," senior scientific officer Li Ping-wah said.

Li said the observatory would closely monitor movements of the tropical storm.

Bebinca caused flooding across Guangdong, including at Zhuhai Jinwan Airport, and left two people dead. Another person is missing, while 70 houses collapsed and 15,000 people had to be moved to safety.

Under the influence of the cyclone, several cities in western Guangdong, including Zhuhai, Mowming and Jiangmen, were affected by heavy rain.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Yagi moved across Zhejiang yesterday after it reached the coast on Sunday night.

More than 200,000 people in 10 cities, including Taizhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou, were evacuated.

Bebinca is unlikely to hit Hong Kong, but the Standby Signal No 1 has been hoisted since 5.15pm on Thursday. It moved past the 102 hours set by Typhoon Tilda back in September 1964.

However, it is still behind the 124 hours set by Typhoon Dinah as it approached Hong Kong in September 1977.

The observatory said the name Bebinca was provided by Macau and is a traditional dessert.

Today's weather will be mainly cloudy with occasional squally showers and thunderstorms. There will also be rough seas and swells, and temperatures will range from 26 and 30 degrees Celsius.

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