Hong Kong issues amber rainstorm warning on Tuesday morning amid week of unstable weather


By Jeffie LamJess Ma

Hongkongers should prepare for heavy downpours on Tuesday, as the local forecaster issued an amber rainstorm warning amid a spate of wet weather.

The Hong Kong Observatory sent out the signal at 10am, after earlier telling the public to brace for heavy showers.

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The forecaster also issued a thunderstorm warning at 9.30am, which was originally expected to last until 10.30am but extended to noon, with Lantau Island and New Territories likely to be affected.

“Widespread heavy rain may affect Hong Kong in a couple of hours. Members of the public should be on the alert,” the weather forecaster said at the time.

Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin said on Monday evening that management at public housing estates had started preparing for possible downpours.

The measures included inspections of nearby trees, drains, slopes, scaffolding and other platforms, as well as updating emergency contact directories and preparing essential items such as sandbags.

Authorities also installed water deflectors along the stairs of the Wong Tai Sin temple to prevent a repeat of flooding at Temple Mall North near the Upper Wong Tai Sin Estate due to a 16-hour black rainstorm last September.

The MTR Corporation said on Tuesday that it had completed flood prevention measures in preparation for typhoon season during the summer.

The rail giant said flood sensors had been installed at the entrances and exits of stations deemed to be high risk, while trees in open-air sections were trimmed to reduce the chances of falling.

The MTR Corp identified 26 stations as having a higher risk of flooding based on their location, surrounding environment and past incidents. Drills to handle “catastrophic flooding” were also being carried out there, it said.

Wong Tai Sin MTR station became flooded during last September’s black rainstorm, resulting in the suspension of the Kwun Tong line service between Shek Kip Mei and Choi Hung.

The station is now equipped with flooding sensors at three entry points.

According to the latest nine-day weather forecast, the city will be wracked by rain throughout the week.

“The trough of low pressure will weaken slightly in the following couple of days but there will still be a few showers over the coastal areas of Guangdong,” it said.

“Under the influence of upper-air disturbances, the weather will be unsettled over southern China towards the weekend.”

Hong Kong will only see some sunny intervals on Saturday as the upper-air disturbances depart.

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