In September, 1983, a Cypriot freighter called ‘City of Lobito’ beached on Cheung Chau island after being washed ashore by Typhoon Ellen. The 6000-tonne cargo ship narrowly avoided smashing into newly built beachside apartments (by just 30 metres).
Islanders took care of the 21 Filipino crew members until they were repatriated. The shipping company went bankrupt.
Hong Kong experienced extensive damage with 22 killed or reported missing, 1,600 people made homeless and 277 injured during Ellen. Winds gusted to 134 knots (248 km/h) at Stanley and lasted for 5 hours around Cheung Chau. 22 ships ran aground in the harbor whilst rainfall totaled 231.8 millimetres (9.13 in).
Some 80,000 households in Kowloon and the New Territories suffered power failure during the T-10 typhoon.
There were 150 reports of flooding and 250 reports of roads being blocked by fallen trees, collapsed scaffolding, sign-boards and other debris.
The second tornado ever recorded in Hong Kong, and the first during a typhoon passage, occurred during Ellen.
It was Hong Kong’s worst typhoon since Typhoon Hope of 1979.
Insurance claims totalled HK$300million, however – there was some relief. Ellen filled HK’s reservoirs, filling High Island Reservoir for the first time and 11 others around the territory.