The day Hong Kong was hit by one of its deadliest rainstorms ever: in photos
On June 12, 1966, a deluge of rain turned streets into raging torrents that killed at least 50 people, caused cars to be swept down roads like toys, and over 7,000 people lost their homes
Hongkongers are no strangers to a heavy summer downpour, but this week, 52 years ago, the city experienced one of the worst rainstorms in its history.
On June 12, 1966, a deluge of rain turned streets into raging torrents that killed at least 50 people. In 24 hours, 15 inches (38 centimetres) of rain was recorded, causing cars to be swept down roads like toys.
Among the dead were two journalists from the Post; John A. Stuart, 31, and Kevin William Murphy, 24, were reportedly washed down the hillside when they were trying to cross a heavily flooded section of Magazine Gap Road.
Almost 80 landslides were recorded in the first 24 hours after the rain, with boulders and trees blocking roads and tramlines. Landslides and road collapses cut off all outside communications from rural areas and The Peak. Helicopters had to be used to transport food and police to The Peak, after even the tram was blocked by boulders.
The Post reported on June 13: “More than 50 vehicles of all types were submerged under tonnes of debris in Stone Nullah Street, Wan Chai, and Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang. Some of the stones, mud and sand in Stone Nullah Street were piled up to about five feet above the ground and blocked the entrances of shops.”
A section of the cemetery in Happy Valley collapsed and more than 20 graves were washed down into a construction site.
Over 7,000 people who lost their homes were given emergency help and shelter.