Hiker in critical condition after suffering heatstroke as Hong Kong continues to bake
The 53-year-old woman was walking with friends on Ap Lei Chau when she felt dizzy and was taken to hospital by helicopter
A middle-aged woman was in critical condition after suffering heatstroke during a hike in Southern district on Wednesday afternoon, as Hong Kong baked under its highest temperature this year.
The 53-year-old hiker was walking with friends on Ap Lei Chau when she felt dizzy under the sweltering heat at about 1.20pm near Ap Lei Pai.
A government helicopter was deployed to take her to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan, where she was listed as being in critical condition.
Separately, a woman, 20, sought help after feeling unwell during a hike near Cape D’Aguilar peninsula on southeastern Hong Kong Island at about 3.30pm. An ambulance was sent but she did not need hospital treatment.
According to figures from the fire service, 15 hikers died and 175 were injured last year, compared with seven deaths and 269 injuries in 2016.
The incidents came as the Hong Kong Observatory recorded a daily maximum temperature of 35.4 degrees Celsius at its Tsim Sha Tsui headquarters at about 2pm, the highest this year and second highest ever for the month of May. Readings at this station are taken as the overall representative temperature for Hong Kong.
The hottest day ever recorded for the month of May in Hong Kong was on May 31, 1963, with a temperature of 35.5 degrees.
As of Wednesday, the city had experienced 14 consecutive days with a maximum temperature at 33 degrees or above, the most for the month of May since records began in 1884.
Hong Kong's Lau Shui Heung Reservoir dries up:
The city also saw the longest-running “very hot” weather warning since the Observatory set up the warning system in 2000. As of 8pm on Wednesday, the warning had been in force for more than 300 consecutive hours since it was issued at 6.45am on May 18.
The hottest spot in the city on Wednesday was Tai Mei Tuk in Tai Po, which had a maximum temperature of 37.3 degrees.
Very hot weather is expected to continue for the next few days, the maximum temperature in urban areas expected to hit 35 degrees on Thursday.
“A southwesterly airstream would usually come and transport moisture in this period of the year, and the resulting formation of clouds and rain would help lower the temperature, but the southwesterly airstream this year was relatively weak,” the Observatory’s scientific officer Andy Lai Wang-chun said when asked for a reason behind the heatwave.
The weatherman expected showers over the region later in the week, as the anticyclone [high pressure] aloft that has brought hot weather to the northern part of the South China Sea weakens.