Hong Kong Experiences 2024’s Initial Red Storm Signal Amidst Flooding Crisis

Hong Kong faced its inaugural red rainstorm warning of the year on Saturday due to heavy rainfall causing widespread flooding across the region, leading to road closures and disruptions in public transportation services.

Issued around 9 a.m. local time by the Hong Kong Observatory, the red signal indicated precipitation exceeding 50 millimeters (approximately 2 inches) and predicted further downpours throughout the city. The agency also raised alerts for landslides and thunderstorms, urging the public to remain vigilant.

Instances of submerged vehicles were reported in a flooded public car park in the New Territories area of Lohas Park, while sections of roads were shut down and bus operations were suspended in parts of the neighboring Tseung Kwan O vicinity, as per the South China Morning Post. The Saikung district witnessed approximately 140 millimeters of rainfall between 7:40 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Saturday, exacerbating the situation further.


Attributed to an upper air disturbance, the Hong Kong Observatory anticipated the continuation of severe rainstorms primarily affecting the eastern region of the territory, prompting the suspension of school classes and limited services at medical clinics in the Saikung district.

Meanwhile, southern China, including Guangdong province, braced for heavy rainfall, with the city of Zhuhai issuing the highest-level rainstorm alert following over 250 millimeters of precipitation, leading to road inundation and advisories for residents to remain indoors.

The unprecedented weather conditions have been linked to the El Niño climate phenomenon, characterized by anomalous warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific, causing disruptive weather patterns worldwide. Experts anticipate a summer marked by extreme temperatures and severe weather events across the Northern Hemisphere.

Earlier in the week, Meizhou, a city in China’s Guangdong province, witnessed a tragic incident resulting in casualties and injuries after a deluge triggered a highway collapse, highlighting the grave consequences of adverse weather conditions.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore experienced disruptions in sports events and air travel due to torrential rains causing flash floods, while Indonesia grappled with fatalities and displacement following floods and landslides in South Sulawesi.

Amidst soaring temperatures and drought conditions in Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, concerns over water shortages, forest fires, and electricity disruptions have been raised by meteorological agencies, emphasizing the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events in the region.

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Staff Report

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