The heaviest rain in Hong Kong in at least 140 years floods the city’s streets, Metro

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Torrential rains inundated Hong Kong on Friday, causing widespread flooding in the densely populated city, inundating streets, shopping malls and subway stations, while authorities closed schools and urged workers to stay at home.

The Chinese Special Administrative Region saw its highest hourly rainfall since records began 140 years ago.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported 158.1 millimeters (6.2 inches) of rainfall between 11 p.m. HKT on Thursday and midnight on Friday (1500 to 1600 GMT on Thursday).

The weather bureau issued the highest “black” rainstorm warning, saying more than 200mm of rainfall was recorded on Hong Kong’s main island of Kowloon and the northeastern part of the city’s New Territories since Thursday night.

The low pressure associated with the remnants of Typhoon Haikui has brought torrential rain to the Guangdong coast since Thursday, the weather bureau said. Extreme conditions are expected to continue until at least midday Friday.

The Hong Kong stock exchange will not open on Friday morning if the black rain warning is still in effect at 9 a.m., the exchange said.

City Leader John Lee said he was very concerned about severe flooding in most parts of the territory and had directed all departments to respond with “every effort.”

Videos circulating on social media showed streets turning into raging rivers, and one clip showed water pouring down an escalator into a crowded subway station.

The city’s Cross Harbor Tunnel, one of the main arteries connecting Hong Kong island to Kowloon, was also inundated with water, while photos showed a flooded shopping center in Chai Wan district.

Hong Kong’s MTR Corp, which operates the city’s rail network, said at least one route was closed while others were operating with delays.

All schools were closed on Friday due to “extreme conditions caused by extensive flooding and severe traffic disruptions”, the government said.

It appealed to employers to comply with work arrangements that normally apply to High Wind Signal 8, which has effectively brought the city to a standstill and closed offices and shops.

(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Jamie Freed)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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