Hong Kong issues new heat warning, hot weather alert for outdoor workers

  • Forecaster issues new alert under ‘special weather tips’ to warn high-risk groups of health risks of extreme heat
  • Mercury climbs to 35 degrees in Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Happy Valley and Tai Mei Tuk

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Hong Kong issued a new heat alert for the first time as temperatures soared to 35 degrees Celsius. Photo: Elson Li

Hong Kong issued a new heat alert for the first time on Tuesday alongside an amber signal for outdoor workers under a three-tier warning system as temperatures soared to 35 degrees Celsius in some districts.

Records from the Observatory at noon showed the mercury in Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Happy Valley and Tai Mei Tuk had climbed to 35 degrees, while the mark was 36 degrees in Yuen Long Park.

The forecaster issued the new alert under “special weather tips” at 11.45am on its website and sent push notifications through its mobile app to remind residents to take steps to protect themselves under the scorching heat.

What’s behind Hong Kong’s new warning system to reduce risk of heatstroke among outdoor workers?

The alert was launched last week to warn high-risk groups, such as elderly residents, of the health risks of extreme heat.

The Observatory on Tuesday said: “The ‘very hot weather’ warning is now in force. The weather is extremely hot and [there is a] prolonged heat alert.

“Please pay attention to the health conditions. Drink more water and take all necessary protective measures against the heat. If feeling unwell, seek medical advice as soon as possible.”

A man repairs an electric fan at an outdoor market in Sham Shui Po. Photo: Sam Tsang

About 45 minutes later, the forecaster raised an amber alert under a new warning system to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion among workers.

When the signal is issued, work can either be suspended or a rest period allocated for 15 to 45 minutes depending on the type of job, which is categorised according to physical workload intensity.

What to do if the hot weather makes you sick

The Observatory explained that under the influence of Tropical Cyclone Mawar, which is expected to move northwards slowly over waters east of Taiwan on Wednesday, it would be “persistently very hot” over the coast of southern China in the coming days.

It said showers and thunderstorms triggered by high temperatures would affect the region. A trough of low pressure is expected to bring a few showers to the coast of Guangdong and the northern part of the South China Sea during the weekend and early next week.

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