Rain signal record as schools close

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 12:00am

Lightning caused power cuts on Hong Kong Island and schools were closed again as torrential rain signals were raised for a record eighth consecutive day.

The New Territories was worst hit by the morning deluge, with 200mm falling in Kwai Chung. More than 150mm was recorded in Tsuen Wan, Tai Po, Sha Tin and northern Kowloon.

The amber rainstorm warning was hoisted at 2.35am and was changed to a red warning two hours later. It returned to amber at 6.15am, with all warnings cancelled at 3pm.

Lightning struck an overhead cable near Ap Lei Chau just before noon, disrupting electricity supplies for several minutes in Eastern, Wan Chai, Central, Causeway Bay and Pokfulam.

Hongkong Electric said the lightning strike caused a surge in voltage for only a few seconds but some buildings' electrical systems took several minutes to reset.

A company spokeswoman said Hongkong Electric received about 40 inquiries and complaints about the power disruption, but could not say how many offices and households were affected.

'Areas affected were quite extensive but the duration was short,' she said.

Television signals were also interrupted in buildings in Quarry Bay after a signal transformer was burned out by the voltage surge.

The Education Department announced at 5.30am that schools would be closed all day. This followed Monday's closure of afternoon schools.

Some parents complained that the announcement of yesterday's school closures was made on radio but not on television. An Education Department spokesman said television stations had been told of the closure.

There were 12 reports of minor flooding and 11 landslips were reported in the New Territories, and at least 16 reports of flooding in Kowloon up to 3pm.

There is not expected to be any respite from the rain until at least the weekend. The Observatory said a low-pressure trough affecting coastal regions of South China would continue to bring heavy rain.