Torrential Rains Batter Hong Kong, Causing Floods and Traffic Chaos

Heavy rainfall causes severe flooding and traffic disruptions in Hong Kong's New Territories, with over 150mm of rainfall recorded in Tseung Kwan O. A mudslide and collapsed retaining wall prompt rescue operations, with widespread waterlogging and road closures reported.

Quadri Adejumo
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Torrential Rains Batter Hong Kong, Causing Floods and Traffic Chaos

Torrential Rains Batter Hong Kong, Causing Floods and Traffic Chaos

Heavy rainfall has caused severe flooding and traffic disruptions in Hong Kong's New Territories on May 4, 2024. The Hong Kong Observatory issues, first, warning, year at 8:55 am, warning of heavy rain exceeding 50 millimeters per hour that may continue for some time.

Why this matters: The increasing frequency of extreme weather events in Hong Kong highlights the need for improved infrastructure and emergency preparedness to mitigate the impact on daily life and the economy. As the city grapples with the consequences of climate change, effective responses to such events will be crucial in maintaining public safety and trust in government agencies.

The Tseung Kwan O area has been particularly hard hit, with over 150 millimeters of rainfall recorded in the past two hours, causing significant issues. A severe mudslide occurred along Yung Shue O Road near Chap Fuk Road, resulting in road closures and debris clearance. A retaining wall measuring approximately 6 meters by 9 meters collapsed along Hang Hau Road, prompting rescue operations by firefighters.

Widespread waterlogging has been reported in various areas of Tseung Kwan O, with numerous vehicles stranded due to engine failures. The open-air car park opposite the Data Centre on Wan Po Road is completely submerged, with water depths reaching approximately 30 centimeters. Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) has announced temporary adjustments to routes 91 and 91M, terminating at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), with the section between Yat Yin Road and Clear Water Bay Road/Po Lamtemporarily suspended.

Residents living near rivers are advised to remain vigilant and consider evacuation if their homes are at risk of flooding. Individuals planning to travel should carefully consider the weather and road conditions and take necessary precautions. Parents, students, school authorities, and school-bus drivers are advised to stay informed through radio or television announcements regarding school arrangements.

The heavy rain is being driven by an upper air disturbance near the Pearl River Estuary, with a fresh to strong easterly airstream along the coast of Guangdong expected to persist through the day. This unsettled weather pattern is forecasted to affect southern China over the weekend, including Hong Kong. Today's forecast calls for mainly cloudy skies with frequent showers and some thunderstorms, which are expected to be heavy at times. Temperatures will peak around 26 degrees Celsius, with moderate to fresh winds from the east to southeast that may strengthen offshore.

The torrential rains in Hong Kong highlight the need for enhanced worker safety during extreme weather conditions. The Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims isauthorities, urged, non, workers, going, work, amito prohibit non-emergency service employees from traveling to work during such events. While the Labour Department recently updated the code of practice for adverse weather, some argue it does not go far enough in protecting workers. As Hong Kong experiences more frequent extreme weather, striking the right balance between safety and maintaining essential services will be an ongoing challenge.

Key Takeaways

  • Heavy rainfall causes severe flooding and traffic disruptions in Hong Kong's New Territories.
  • Hong Kong Observatory issues first red rainstorm warning of the year at 8:55 am.
  • Tseung Kwan O area hardest hit with over 150mm rainfall, mudslide, and road closures.
  • Residents advised to stay vigilant, consider evacuation, and take necessary precautions.
  • Enhanced worker safety urged during extreme weather conditions.