Hong Kong warning icons

As we move into Hong Kong’s storm season, mobile phones are pinging with notifications from the Observatory: thunderstorm warnings, heavy rain warnings, strong wind warnings, etc.

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A shot of the Observatory App on my phone last week. We’re not quite into typhoon season and yet multiple warnings were posted.

The Hong Kong Observatory uses a wide range of warning icons to alert the public of dangerous changes in the weather. These icons help Hong Kong know at a glance whether school is cancelled, if ferry boats are running and if a mountaintop hike is a safe idea or not.

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The warning system is very useful.

Can we make it even more useful?

I propose adding these additional warning alerts to the Hong Kong Observatory’s arsenal in order to serve the public even more attentively:


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For each alert icon, the accompanying warning text could read as follows:

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All dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong’s urban areas are now at capacity. Members of the public are advised to consider re-heating yesterday’s leftovers. Alternatively, prepare for long wait times in crowded, noisy areas with non-existent seating.

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Large clusters of sports fans are expected to converge in Hong Kong for the Rugby Sevens. Residents that do not understand or follow rugby should avoid Hong Kong Stadium and its vicinity.

The Observatory further anticipates that the Drunk Rugby Fan Warning will be hoisted from 19:00 to 03:00. Non-drunk members of the public are advised to avoid Wan Chai and Lan Kwai Fong as these districts will be saturated with drunk, white people in costume. (Source for drunk guy graphic)

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Large groups of tourists from Mainland China are currently massing in Hong Kong. If approaching the area of Canton Road, expect to be astounded by the sight of long queues of tourists waiting to be admitted to luxury stores. The Observatory forecasts that many Hongkongers will be overheard muttering, “Who waits in lines so long to pay so much?”

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Satellite imagery indicates that as of 04:30 this morning, Hong Kong sports car owners are assembling at expressways and curvy rural roads. The Observatory predicts that several illegal and highly dangerous road races will commence imminently. Members of the public are advised to: (1) Stay away from roadways. (2) Put pillows over their heads to muffle the engine noise. (3) Prey to the traffic gods that the police ticket the hell out of those idiots.


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Observatory staff noticed that the air smelled kind of funny this morning and at least two Senior Scientific Officers were overheard commenting that they couldn’t even see across Victoria Harbour. The public is advised to compare Hong Kong’s air quality against that of Beijing in order to be lulled into a state of relative complacency.

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The ankles of Hong Kong’s rural residents are now spotted with itchy, red bumps. The Observatory recommends that members of the pubic living in affected areas purchase a few more pairs of linen trousers. The Observatory understands that it is very hot and that you would rather wear shorts. Too bad.

This post has been updated to improve the Cantonese.

4 responses to “Hong Kong warning icons

  1. Love these 🙂 Germany has lots of signs that tell you you’re allowed to have fun but while having this fun, you will not be supervised so the fun that you have will be at your own risk. BEWARE the fun 🙂

  2. Pingback: Friday Links April 29th | Charlotte Steggz·

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