Hong Kong downgrades red rainstorm signal on Friday morning, 90 minutes after issuing warning

The Hong Kong Observatory downgraded a red rainstorm warning to an amber one on Friday morning, about 90 minutes after the signal was issued in response to heavy downpours and the risk of possible flooding.

The local forecaster earlier said more than 50mm of rainfall had been recorded in many locations across the New Territories, with downpours even reaching 100mm in Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long.

The Education Bureau had also announced the suspension of schools running just afternoon classes, while those operating morning and full-day ones were expected to continue.

It previously told schools to implement contingency measures to ensure students’ safety.

“Schools which are in session should continue until the end of school hours. They should ensure that conditions are safe before allowing students to return home,” the bureau said.

The Observatory had also warned of possible flooding in the northern New Territories, notably Pat Heung and Kam Tin, calling on residents in those areas to take precautions to prevent water damage.

Over in Tai Po, a Facebook group for local residents shared a photo of a car half submerged in water on a road at around 10.30am.

The forecaster has advised residents to be wary of potential flash floods, urging them to stay away from watercourses and to pay attention to any nearby flood sirens.

It earlier attributed the weather to an active southwesterly airstream that was bringing heavy showers and thunderstorms to the coast of Guangdong.

The city was likely to see showers and a few thunderstorms on Saturday, before the unstable weather started to gradually ease early next week, the forecaster said.

A commuter braves the heavy rain in Tai Po. Photo: Jelly Tse

Thunder could be heard in the skies above the city’s airport amid a patch of thick rain clouds.

The airport has delayed at least 30 flights since 9am. It is not yet confirmed whether they were delayed due to the bad weather.

The Ngong Ping 360 cable car attraction on Lantau Island also delayed the launch of a new promotional drive featuring popular Japanese cartoon character Doraemon, adding services would resume when the adverse weather had subsided.


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