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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

6 typhoon names added

Six new tropical cyclone names have been added to this year's list for typhoons in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea, the Hong Kong Observatory announced today.   They are Yinxing, Co-may, Nongfa, Ragasa, Koto and Nokaen.   Yinxing, a name originating from China, is a kind of tree native to the country.   Co-may, from Vietnam, means a species of grass known as Chrysopogon aciculatus.   Nongfa and Nokaen, both from Laos, represent a lake in Laos meaning blue lake and a swallow.   The Philippines' Ragasa means rapid or fast motion, while Koto from Japan is the constellation Lyra.   The United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific/World Meteorological Organization Typhoon Committee endorsed the names at its 53rd session.   They will replace the names of Yutu, Lekima, Faxai, Hagibis, Kammuri and Phanfone.   The committee will consider retiring names of tropical cyclones which have caused serious casualties and economic losses.   In October 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu left at least two people dead and injured 133 others during its passage over Saipan. Electricity supply was interrupted in many places.   It also brought torrential rain and squalls to the northern part of the Philippines and triggered landslides and flooding, resulting in at least 20 deaths.   In August 2019, Super Typhoon Lekima caused at least 56 deaths and left 14 people missing in eastern China. Over 14 million people were affected with direct economic losses exceeding RMB51.5 billion.   There were also at least two deaths and 11 injuries in Taiwan under the influence of the torrential rain brought about by this typhoon.   Severe Typhoon Faxai and Super Typhoon Hagibis hit Kanto in Japan in September and October 2019, causing extensive flooding and power outages. Marine, land and air traffic in Kanto was paralysed. These two storms resulted in at least 102 deaths, 618 injuries and seven people missing.   In December 2019, the Philippines was hit by Super Typhoon Kammuri and Typhoon Phanfone, resulting in a total of 54 deaths and 680 injuries.
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