Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) Director Fong Soi Kun admitted on Friday that the wind speed on that day in Macau was weaker than forecast, when the No.8 signal was hoisted for Typhoon Haima.
Fong made the comments when speaking to the Chinese-language TV channel and radio channel of government-owned broadcaster TDM on Friday.
Macau’s top weather forecaster told TDM’s Portuguese-language TV channel on Friday that his bureau’s forecast was “not very perfect”, admitting that it was “slightly wrong”.
The bureau hoisted the No.8 signal at 8:30 a.m.on Friday, when Typhoon Haima was 250 kilometres east-south-east of the city. The typhoon made landfall around Shanwei city on the east coast of Guangdong province at 1 p.m.on Friday.
The bureau lowered the signal to No.3 at 3:30 p.m. and removed all typhoon signals at 8 p.m. that day. While the No.8 signal was up, the wind speed was not high and there was no torrential rain either.
Fong said that the wind speed that hit the city was lower than what his bureau had forecast.
Fong said that Typhoon Haima eventually changed direction, which took it farther away from Macau before it made landfall on the east coast of Guangdong.
Fong said that the average wind speed during the time the No.8 signal was up did not reach the criteria for hoisting the No.8 signal.
Fong also said that his bureau announced at 6 a.m.on Friday that the No.8 signal would be hoisted at 8:30 a.m., to make it known as early as possible whether schools needed to suspend classes.
Due to the No.8 signal, government offices, schools, most private offices and many shops were closed and many events were cancelled or postponed.
In early August, many residents expressed outrage at the bureau’s decision not to hoist the No.8 signal when Typhoon Nida was hitting the Pearl River Delta.
After the fiasco, Fong apologised for his bureau’s poor communication with the public, after Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario apologised for the failure of the bureau to tell residents “in a good-enough way” about its much criticised decision not to hoist the No.8 typhoon signal on August 2.
Some residents also called for Fong to resign over the bureau’s decision then.