Hong Kong Witnesses Heaviest Rainfall in 140 Years

Fri Sep 08 2023
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HONG KONG: Hong Kong was flooded by the heaviest rainfall in nearly 140 years on Friday, leaving the  streets and some subway stations in the city under water and forcing its schools to close.

Just across the border, officials in China’s tech hub Shenzhen recorded the heaviest rains since records started in 1952.

Experts say that climate change has increased the intensity of tropical storms, with more rainfalls and stronger winds leading to flash floods and coastal damage.

The heavy rainfall in Hong Kong began on Thursday and in the hour leading up to midnight, the weather observatory of the city recorded hourly rainfall of 158.1 millimeters at its headquarters, the highest since records started in 1884, according to AFP.

officials issued flash flood warnings, with emergency services were busy in rescue operations in parts of the territory.

The observatory said that residents living near rivers should stay alert to weather conditions and should consider evacuation in case their homes are flooded.

Warnings of landslips in Hong Kong

It also warned of landslips, telling motorists to keep away from retaining walls or steep slopes.

On Friday morning, taxis struggled through flooded roads as people attempted to make their way to work.

Some vehicles were left stranded in the deluge.

Roads were also flooded on the Lantau island where rivers swelled over their banks.

Southern China was hit the previous weekend by 2 typhoons in quick succession — Saola and Haikui — though Hong Kong averted a feared direct hit.

Tens of millions of people in the densely populated coastal parts of southern China had sheltered indoors before of those storms.

The weather observatory in Hong Kong said the latest torrential rain was brought by the trough of low pressure associated with the remnant of Haikui.

No harm was reported, but authorities closed schools, and cargo clearance services on the city’s border with Shenzhen were suspended.

The border disruption came hours after Hong Kong officials announced that Shenzhen was preparing to discharge water from its reservoir, which they stated could result in flooding in northern areas of the city.

The metro operator in Hong Kong said there was a service disruption on one of its routes after a station in the Wong Tai Sin district was flooded.

Many other stations were also hit by the rain.

Video posted on social media showed a subway train not stopping at Wong Tai Sin station, which had floodwater on its platform.

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