One person was killed in a traffic accident, flights were delayed, and schools, court hearings and vaccination campaigns were briefly suspended after the Hong Kong Meteorological Department issued the first warning on Monday. “black storm” warning of the year.
Heavy rain caused a fatal accident in Sheung Shui Town in the Northern District of Hong Kong, killing the driver of a bus. The driver lost control of the vehicle and slammed it into the tree because the roads were slippery from the rains, police said. No passengers were on board at the time of the accident.
Heavy torrential rains hit parts of Hong Kong, triggering landslides in many places that led to traffic and the suspension of activities.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said it will stop trading for the morning session Monday until the highest “black storm” weather warning is canceled.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) said in a statement that all of its major commodity and derivatives markets (including Stock Connect trading) will resume trading in the afternoon after the downward revision of the warning alert.
“Trading will begin within the first half hour at least two hours after the black storm warning is canceled,” HKEX said.
A black rain warning is the highest of the three torrential rain warning levels in Hong Kong after red and amber.
The Hong Kong Observatory issued the warning after more than 70 millimeters of rain was recorded in many places and rainfall exceeded 150 millimeters in several districts of Hong Kong.
The footage showed thick muddy water gushing from a hill on South Lantau Road near Upper Cheung Sha Beach and flooding the roads as a result of a landslide. Traffic was blocked for hours before the water spray stopped. The excess rain also caused water to seep into homes and offices.
The black thunderstorm, which remained in effect for less than three hours, was downgraded to a lower warning level of red at 11:05 a.m. before being replaced by the lower amber level. At 12:30 p.m., the orange warning was also canceled, the public service broadcaster reported, Hong Kong Radio Television.
The HKEX said if the black rain warning persisted until noon, all trading sessions would be suspended for the day.
But after the forecast update, trading will resume at 1:30 p.m. local time.
More than 200 millimeters of rain fell in parts of Lantau Island, Lamma Island and western Hong Kong, while other areas received at least 70 millimeters of rain.
According to South China Morning Post, a landslide was reported at 8 a.m. on Monday on Hong Kong’s largest Lantau Island, blocking traffic. Four other landslides were reported on Cheung Chau Island.
Harsh weather conditions also resulted in delayed flights with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her delegation’s flight delayed by an hour as they traveled to Beijing to attend the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Communist Party.
Schools have been closed for the day, but authorities have asked school administrations to keep their premises open and to implement emergency measures for exceptions if schoolchildren show up.
Vaccination centers remained open but suspended the administration of Covid -19 vaccines to the population during the torrential rain warning.