Hong Kong weather

A total of 76 cases of people trapped in lifts reported after sudden voltage dip as Bebinca edges closer to Hong Kong

HK Electric and CLP confirm split-second drop at 9.10am on Tuesday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 11:30am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 5:49pm

A total of 76 cases of people trapped in lifts were reported on Tuesday morning following a split-second voltage dip as Tropical Storm Bebinca edged nearer to Hong Kong.

That was the number of reports the fire service received between 9am and 10am, compared to only two cases in the previous 60 minutes.

Kindergarten classes suspended as Observatory raises typhoon signal No 3

“At 9.10am, some customers on Hong Kong Island might have experienced a voltage dip caused by an incident in the system outside HK Electric’s supply area,” said a spokesman for the company, which supplies power to Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island.

“The voltage dip lasted for less than one second, and power supply returned to normal immediately afterwards.”

CLP, the city’s other major power company, confirmed that its electricity supply system experienced a 0.1-second voltage dip at 9.10am across the city. It said bad weather may have been the cause.

“The electricity supply was not disrupted, but some customers might have experienced a flashing light,” a spokesman said. “Electronic appliances that are sensitive to change in voltage, such as lifts, could be temporally suspended after the protection mechanism is activated.”

Trains along the Hong Kong Island line were delayed for about five minutes at about 9.15am.

“Due to disruption of electricity supply, facilities at some railway stations had run their safety system and stopped operation,” an MTR Corporation spokeswoman said. “Trains had to move slowly while services resumed by 9:15am.”

Bebinca prompted the Hong Kong Observatory to issue the typhoon signal No 3 at 5.20am on Tuesday. At 8am, the storm was estimated to be about 170km (106 miles) south-southwest of Hong Kong.