New winter record is cold comfort

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 January, 2004, 12:00am

This winter is proving to be one of Hong Kong's coldest, with the record for the longest cold weather warning toppling yesterday.

The Observatory said the record was broken at 6pm. The previous mark of 163 hours was set in March 2000. The warning system was established in 1999.

The Observatory's scientific officer, Cheung Ping, said: 'Since the temperature is expected to be around 10 to 14 degrees Celsius on Monday, the warning will stay for a longer period.'

Mr Cheung said yesterday was one of the coldest days this season, with 8.5 degrees recorded in urban areas. The temperature in Ta Kwu Ling fell to 1.6 degrees. He said the winter monsoon affecting southern China would ease over the next few days.

'On Tuesday, the temperatures will range from 13 to 17 degrees,' he said. 'But it could rain mid-week because humid air will set in.'

Some 300 people have used the government's 17 cold weather shelters.

The Senior Citizen Home Safety Association said more than 1,000 elderly people had called for help and 100 were sent to hospital in the past two days.

A man who was sheltering at the Henry Leong Community Centre in Yau Ma Tei was found unconscious yesterday. He died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital at 4pm.

Six other people were admitted to hospital with hypothermia yesterday.