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Hong Kong on Thursday morning recorded more than 10,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes amid an amber rainstorm warning that lasted for less than three hours.

More than 5,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were recorded between 6am and 6.59am, while over 3,000 such occurrences were observed at an hourly rate from 4am to about 6am, according to the Observatory.

A meteorologist at the Macau-based ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee under the UN, said Hong Kong’s amount of lightning strikes in the morning was “relatively high” and linked to the outer rain bands of Typhoon Mawar.

Meanwhile, the Sakishima Islands of Okinawa, Japan are currently experiencing strong winds, which were expected to intensify as the typhoon drew closer, the state weather agency warned.

At Painushima Ishigaki Airport, a maximum wind speed of 87kmh was observed, while Hateruma Island recorded winds of 86kmh.
The typhoon was still in the Philippines Area of Responsibility, the oceanic area monitored by the weather agency of the archipelago, but was inching closer to Okinawa and away from the northern islands.

It was moving northward with maximum sustained winds of up to 126kmh near its centre and gusts as strong as 180kmh. It had a central barometric pressure of 965 hectopascals, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

The typhoon also lashed the Taiwanese fishing town of Yilan with high tides and winds, as extreme weather warnings were issued for coastal communities. Fishermen secured their boats and homes against the stormy conditions on Tuesday evening and took shelter.

Last week, Mawar lashed the remote US territory of Guam and left the island with heavy damages, power cuts and flooding before rapidly intensifying to category-5 strength in the Philippine Sea, becoming the strongest typhoon in 2023 and the most intense recorded in May.