Amber rainstorm signal cancelled, but another storm looms for Hong Kong in form of possible typhoon
Heavy rains led to city-wide school closures and risk of flooding in some areas
The rain has stopped for now, but another storm is looming for Hong Kong, as a typhoon possibly forming in the region early next week means the city could be battered by showers and thunderstorms for several days.
The forecast on the Hong Kong Observatory website stated: “There will be tropical cyclone development over the northern part of the South China Sea to the western North Pacific early next week.
“However, the formation location and subsequent movement remain rather uncertain.”
Christy Leung Yan-yu, a scientific officer at the Observatory, explained that the tropical cyclone would form over the waters to the south of Hong Kong or to the east of Taiwan and near Philippines, but the direction, exact location and intensity were uncertain.
“Because there are discrepancies between different numerical weather prediction models, it is quite uncertain at the moment if the tropical cyclone will head to Hong Kong,” Leung said.
A broad trough of low pressure around the coast of Guangdong and the northern part of South China Sea is expected to bring showers and thunderstorms to the region over the next few days.
The city woke up to heavy rain on Wednesday morning with the red rainstorm signal being issued at 6.55am, though it was subsequently lowered to amber at 8.35am before finally being cancelled at 10.10am.
The thunderstorm warning issued at 4.45am remained in force though, and was extended to 12.30pm. A few squally thunderstorms are expected to occur over Hong Kong.
The Education Bureau announced that all morning and whole-day schools would be closed.
An amber rainstorm signal was issued at 6.10am and replaced by the red one 45 minutes later.
Locally, more than 50mm of rain was recorded over widespread areas on Wednesday morning, even exceeding 100mm over Lantau Island and Tai Po.
The Observatory also issued a flood warning in the northern part of the New Territories, especially in areas around Sheung Shui, where more than 70mm of rain was recorded.
Due to flooding, all lanes of Wan Tau Street near Tai Po Complex were closed to all traffic shortly before 8.30am, according to the Transport Department.
Traffic was busy in the vicinity of Tai Po district such as along Tai Po Tai Wo Road, Yuen Shin Road and Nam Wan Road. Shortly before 10.30am, Wan Tau Street was reopened to all traffic.
Police received a landslide report shortly after 10am. It happened in the Tai Po Kau section of Tai Po Road, covering an area of 10m by 10m, according to police.
The Transport Department said that due to the landslide, that section of the road was closed to all traffic and affected bus and minibus routes had been diverted. By midday, the section was still closed to traffic.
The unstable weather also affected the electricity supply on Wednesday morning. The Fire Services Department said it received 82 reports from local residents who were trapped in lifts between 6am to 9am.
Most of the incidents happened in Kowloon and the New Territories, but some residents on Hong Kong Island were also affected.
CLP Power, the electricity company that supplies Lantau, Kowloon and the New Territories, said the weather had caused a voltage dip in the power system.
“At 6.53am today, CLP’s 400 kV power system experienced a short voltage dip under the adverse weather, during which power supply was not interrupted,” a CLP spokeswoman said.
She explained that electrical installations such as lifts, which are sensitive to voltage fluctuation, may experience a temporary tripping as a result of the equipment’s default protection system.
HK Electric, which covers Hong Kong Island and Lamma, said that its power supply remained normal, but some customers also possibly experienced a momentary voltage dip as a result of “a malfunction in the power system outside HK Electric’s supply area”.