Published: 11:15, September 2, 2023 | Updated: 10:22, September 3, 2023
Hong Kong picks up the pieces as Saola moves away
By Shadow Li

With Typhoon Saola gradually weakening, residents visit the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade in Hong Kong, Sept 2, 2023. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – Life in Hong Kong gradually returned to normal on Saturday after the Hong Kong Observatory downgraded typhoon signal from No. 8 to No. 3 at 4:20 pm as Typhoon Saola moved away. 

The typhoon, which skirted the city on Friday night, left 86 people injured, with more than 1,500 reports of fallen trees.

Saola left the special administrative region relatively unscathed, with the city’s metro, bus, tram and ferry services gradually resuming. Flights that have been delayed or cancelled due to the typhoon are also gradually returning to normal, but high-speed train services between the SAR and the Chinese mainland will remain suspended until Sunday.

READ MORE: HK downgrades typhoon alert as city services gradually resume

Metro operator MTR Corporation said train frequencies will be increased to those of non-peak hours on Saturdays to cope with more passengers.

Trains on the Tsuen Wan Line, Kwun Tong Line and the Island Line will run at three-minute intervals, while services on other metro lines will run at four- to 18-minute intervals.

For cross-boundary passengers, the East Rail Line will provide run between Admiralty and Lo Wu stations at four- to eight-minute intervals, and between Admiralty and Lok Ma Chau at 12-minute intervals.

A Cathay Pacific airplane takes off from the third runway at the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong on Nov 25, 2022. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Bus operators, including Citybus, Kowloon Motor Bus and Long Win Bus, began resuming services from 4:20 pm after the typhoon signal was downgraded to No. 3.

IN PICTURES: Saola-battered Hong Kong

Ferries operating between the urban areas and offshore islands, as well as Hong Kong-Macao ferries, resumed services on Saturday afternoon, while the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge also reopened.

About 460 flights were cancelled as Saola approached the SAR. Hong Kong International Airport said it has implemented a flight re-allocation mechanism for the resumption of flights.

Urban transportation services and businesses in Shenzhen, Macao and Zhuhai, Guangdong province, have also slowly returned to normal.

The Hong Kong Observatory replaced Typhoon Signal No. 10, which was hoisted at 8:15 pm on Friday, with No. 8, as Saola moved away from the city.

Saola – the most severe storm to threaten Hong Kong since super typhoon Mangkhut in 2018 – skirted Hong Kong about 50 kilometers to the south of the city.

ALSO READ: Residents evacuated as Saola brings Hong Kong to a standstill

Up to 4 pm on Saturday, there had been more than 1,500 reports of fallen trees, 21 confirmed cases of flooding and two landslide report. Eighty-six people had sought treatment at public hospitals during the typhoon, according to the Hospital Authority.

Typhoon Mangkhut brought down 60,000 trees and left more than 200 people injured five years ago.