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Weather

Exhibition highlights dangers of Hong Kong weather, a day after student, 18, dies from lightning strike

Photo capturing lightning bolts tucked inside cloud amid sunset is winning entrant in competition organised by Observatory and Airport Authority

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 9:33am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 9:33am

An exhibition of images showing the gamut of Hong Kong’s weather is aiming to raise awareness and understanding of its volatility, and debuted just a day after an 18-year-old student was struck and killed by lightning.

Launched on Tuesday, the event was the outcome of a competition held earlier this year in which 63 entrants were shortlisted from a total of 2,000 photos and video clips to be displayed at Hong Kong International Airport.

Organisers the Hong Kong Observatory and the Airport Authority awarded the contest’s top prize to a picture showing an array of lightning bolts tucked inside a cloud amid sunset above Sai Kung.

On Monday the city’s hiking community was left in shock after Ian Lo Go-yin, who had recently completed his final year at South Island School in Aberdeen, was struck by lightning while out walking in Ma On Shan Country Park. He was later declared dead in hospital.

Competition winner Cheung Sung-lok said he felt the city’s weather had been fluctuating considerably in the past few years.

And he credited “luck” in snapping his first-prize image.

“I meant to take photos of the sunset at Tai Sang Wai in Yuen Long but decided to capture the lightning cloud when I saw it on the opposite side,” he explained. “You cannot predict how the weather will change.”

When asked if it was risky taking such photos in view of this week’s tragic events, Cheung said he always considered his safety before deciding to wait for a shot.

The first thing he takes notice of, he said, is the distance between himself and a rain cloud, adding: “If the cloud is coming in my direction, I need to leave quickly.”

Cheung noted he felt sad upon hearing of Lo’s death.

On Monday, the Observatory posted a video to social media offering advice on what to do when lightning strikes.

Director Shun Chi-ming said the Observatory’s mobile app offered data on lightning and its location, claiming that its radar images and detection systems were accurate 90 per cent of the time.

The photo and video exhibition runs until November 11.