Hong Kong: More than 100 people were taken to hospitals due to flooding and the severe weather is expected to remain until 6 p.m.
On Friday, The Asian financial hub of Hong Kong, experienced the heaviest rainfall in its 140-year recorded history. This unusual and intense rainfall, caused by typhoon, resulted in one death and 83 injuries.
The heavy rain was caused by Typhoon Haikui, which reached the Chinese province of Fujian on Tuesday. Even though had lost its intensity it still had the potential to bring heavy rainfall. Its slow-moving clouds released large amounts of rain in areas that were already soaked from a super typhoon the previous week
The heavy rain started late Thursday night, recorded hourly rainfall of over 158 millimeters (6.2 inches) between 11 p.m. and midnight. This was the highest hourly rainfall ever recorded since 1884, as mentioned by the government in a news release. Some areas of the city received nearly 500 millimeters (19.7 inches) of rain within a 24-hour period, according to the weather data site OGimet.
Record-breaking rainfall caused significant disruptions on Friday. Flash floods submerged metro stations and stranded drivers on roads, leading authorities to close schools and advise the public to find safe places for shelter.
Hong Kong authorities shut schools and ordered all employees to stay at home on Friday. In addition, the stock exchange for the city was closed.
The mayor of the city, John Lee, stated that he had ordered all agencies to make “all-out efforts” in response to the severe flooding that had affected the majority of the territory.
The Mass Transit Railway in the city had to stop one of its train lines because a station in the Wong Tai Sin district got flooded. Water was seen rushing down the station stairs, and at another station, workers were trying to keep the water out. Although most subway services kept running, major bus, tram, and ferry services were stopped, according to public broadcaster RTHK. Some bus services began again on Friday afternoon, but many routes are still not running as usual.
Due to the risk of landslides in the hilly area, authorities had to close multiple roads. They also issued the highest ‘black’ rainstorm warning for the first time in two years.
The government also warned that there might be flooding in the northern New Territories district. This came after the neighboring city of Shenzhen said it would release water from a reservoir
According to Chinese official media, the downpours in Shenzhen also smashed a number of city rain records, including the maximum rainfall records for two-hour, three-hour, six-hour, and 12-hour periods, which had stood since 1952.
Schools were closed on Friday as a result of the 469 millimeters (nearly 18.5 inches) of rain that fell in Shenzhen between Thursday evening and Friday morning. There, too, transportation was hampered by the suspension of six metro lines.