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Hong Kong Battles Floods and Landslides as Heavy Rains Pound Region

Cars damaged by flood in Hong Kong
Cars damaged by flood in Hong Kong

HONG KONG – Hong Kong faced a deluge on Thursday as relentless rains triggered flooding and landslides across the territory, prompting emergency response teams to scramble to minimize impacts.

Intense thunderstorms drenched the city, with some areas like Sai Kung and Tseung Kwan O particularly hard hit by flash floods. The Drainage Services Department activated its Emergency Control Centre early in the day and deployed about 70 emergency crews to flood-prone districts.

As the rainfall intensified, the department mobilized over 160 teams totaling 600 people to clear clogged drains and handle flooding incidents across Hong Kong. By early evening, all 16 flood cases, including a dozen in Sai Kung and Tseung Kwan O, had been resolved within one to two hours.

The rains also unleashed at least 15 landslides in Sai Kung, according to the Geotechnical Engineering Office. A major landslip occurred above the Tseung Kwan O landfill site, prompting the Environmental Protection Department to divert excess water flow.

Across Hong Kong, some roads temporarily closed due to severe flooding but most had reopened by nightfall thanks to rapid response efforts coordinated between drainage, transport, highways and police departments. The Transport Department’s Emergency Transport Coordination Centre worked to minimize disruptions to public transit.

While over two dozen people were trapped in elevators and automatic fire alarms were set off across the city, the Fire Services Department reported no injuries from the storms.

Temporary shelters opened in several districts to accommodate those displaced by the severe weather. The Home Affairs Department activated community support teams in Sai Kung to assist residents impacted by the floods and slides.

As another band of thunderstorms loomed, authorities urged the public to avoid slopes, steer clear of trees and stay away from country parks susceptible to flash floods. The latest round of torrential rains served as a stark reminder of the destructive potential of Hong Kong’s mercurial summer weather.