The director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Shun Chi-ming, today (June 7) said that the numbered typhoon signal system in Hong Kong is simple and easy, and has helped to safeguard people’s lives and property from typhoon hazards over the past century. “Through presenting a review of the evolution of the signal system and typhoon history, we hope to increase public awareness on prevention against typhoon-related hazards”, he said.
In 1884, the Observatory started to provide tropical cyclone warning services to the public through the use of a typhoon gun. In 1917, numbered typhoon signals were introduced in Hong Kong to warn the public about the wind strength and direction of tropical cyclones. The numbered typhoon signal system has been revised several times and the current version was adopted in 1973.
In the 1960s, there were over 40 signal stations hoisting tropical cyclone and strong monsoon signals in Hong Kong. As communication technology developed, the hoisting of typhoon signals became outdated and these stations were gradually closed from the 1970s onward. The Cheung Chau Signal Station became the last signal station in Hong Kong to decommission services on January 1, 2002, marking the end of the era of hoisting physical typhoon signals in the territory.
The Observatory will organise guided tours for registered members of public to visit the Cheung Chau Meteorological Station, so as to enhance public understanding of the evolution of the numbered typhoon warning signal system. Relevant details will be announced later. The public can also view the short video at http://www.hko.gov.hk/100YearsTCSignals/video_uc.htm and the Observatory’s webpage at http://www.hko.gov.hk/informtc/tcsignal_history.htm for more information on the history of the numbered typhoon warning signal system.
Note: Short video on the visit (Cantonese only): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spk6ErgiDPo