Hong Kong, a city of 7.5 million people, is staggering from the overwhelming effect of record-breaking rainfall that has deadened the city. This remarkable storm, which started late Thursday night and went on into Friday, has left roads submerged, subway stations flooded, and residents in distress.

With over of 158 millimeters (6.2 inches) of rain recorded in only 60 minutes, this is the highest hourly rainfall since records started in 1884. Parts of the city have seen nearly 500 mm (19.7 inches) of rainfall within 24 hours, causing widespread chaos and disruption.

Hong Kong Flooded by Heaviest Rains in 140 Years

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The outrageous rainfall got numerous residents by surprise, as it came just days after the city was battered by Typhoon Saola, one of the strongest typhoons to hit Hong Kong in five years.

Although Saola weakened to a Category 2 hurricane before reaching Hong Kong, its impact was still significant, causing injuries and flight cancellations.

The city was all the while wrestling with the consequence of the tropical storm when the record-breaking rainfall struck, compounding the difficulties faced by authorities and residents alike.

The outcomes of this heavy rainfall have been expansive. Hong Kong’s transportation system, known for its efficiency, ground to a halt as roads turned into rivers, and subway stations became inundated.

The city’s Mass Travel Rail route had to suspend administrations on one of its lines because of flooding, and major bus, tram, and ferry services were suspended as well.

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The stock market canceled morning trading, and all schools were closed for the day, affecting both students and working parents. Businesses were urged to allow non-essential employees to stay home due to unsafe travel conditions.

The effect on individual residents has been significant. Stuart Hargreaves, a Hong Kong resident, shared his nerve racking experience of being stranded in his car overnight due to impassable roads.

He described how water rose to the hood of his car, leaving him stuck until daybreak. When he finally managed to drive home, the road was strewn with debris from landslides and abandoned cars, highlighting the extent of the damage caused by the heavy rainfall.

Starting around Friday evening, the number of reported injuries has continued to rise, with 119 people affected by the downpour, and four in serious condition, according to Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority.

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The city’s emergency services were extended as far as possible as they led safeguards and gave help to those in need. Hong Kong’s fire services department reported evacuating 110 people and assisting 20 injured individuals.

The effect on Hong Kong’s infrastructure has been significant, with multiple roads closed off due to landslides, a common occurrence in the city’s mountainous terrain during heavy rain.

The highest “black” rainstorm warning was issued for the first time in two years, underscoring the severity of the situation.

Videos and images circulated on social media revealed flooded streets, shopping malls, and public transport hubs. The city’s cross-harbor tunnel, a critical transportation link, was inundated, causing further disruptions.

The impacts of this relentless rainfall extended beyond Hong Kong, as the neighboring city of Shenzhen also grappled with severe flooding. Shenzhen reported its heaviest showers since records began in 1952, leading to evacuations and transport disruptions.

The decision to discharge water from Shenzhen’s reservoirs raised questions about its potential contribution to Hong Kong’s flooding, although authorities in both cities insisted that it was a safe and necessary measure.

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