Home Environment Heavy Rain, Flooding Paralyzes Hong Kong; Danger Warnings Issued

Heavy Rain, Flooding Paralyzes Hong Kong; Danger Warnings Issued

Heavy Rain, Thunder Storm Warning - HK Observatory
Credit: HKPinoyTV Images

HONG KONG – A dangerous rainstorm combined with thunderstorms inundated Hong Kong on Friday, triggering severe flooding that swamped roads and forced closures across the territory as the weather observatory issued multiple severe weather warnings.

The Hong Kong Observatory raised the Red Rainstorm Warning at 8:55 a.m. as rainfall exceeded 50 millimeters (2 inches) per hour, along with the Thunderstorm Warning issued earlier at 5 a.m. A Landslip Warning was added at 10:30 a.m. amid the deluge.

Meteorologists cited an upper-air disturbance over the Pearl River Estuary bringing heavy showers and squally thunderstorms. A strong easterly airstream compounded the downpours along Guangdong’s coast.

Rainfall totals by noon exceeded 200 millimeters (8 inches) in areas like Tseung Kwan O and Sai Kung, while over 50 millimeters of rain fell across eastern Hong Kong and Lantau Island. Shocking images emerged of a Tseung Kwan O industrial parking lot entirely submerged, the water reaching midway up vehicles.

The flooding paralyzed traffic, with the Transport Department shutting down lanes on major thoroughfares like Ying Yip Road and Wan Po Road due to inundations. Stranded cars with hazard lights flashing dotted roads turned to rivers.

Authorities urged citizens to avoid watercourses and low-lying areas, as swollen rivers spilled over banks. Residents near waterways were told to prepare for evacuation if flooding worsened. Parents, students and schools were advised to monitor announcements about closures as conditions deteriorated rapidly.

The torrential rains exposed Hong Kong’s vulnerability to extreme weather events amid climate change. Scientists warn urban centers like the finance hub face increasing risk from intense storms as the planet warms.