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‘Once in a Century’ Rainfall Floods Hong Kong


A vehicle is stuck in a collapsed section of road in Hong Kong on Sept. 8, 2023.

Hong Kong officials say all-time record rainfall hit the city late Thursday into Friday, flooding streets and subways stations, causing landslides and leaving at least two people dead and injuring at more than 100.

The Hong Kong Observatory said it recorded 15.81 centimeters of rain in the hour between 11 p.m. Thursday and midnight, Hong Kong time — the highest recording since records began in 1884. More than 20 centimeters fell in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

Local television reports and video posted to social media showed water rushing down the flooded streets of Hong Kong and in neighboring Shenzhen in Guangdong province. Subways were flooded as well as a tunnel connecting Hong Kong Island to Kowloon.

Hong Kong police said that two bodies were found floating in waters in different parts of the city. The city's fire services department told the Associated Pres it had evacuated 110 people and assisted 20 injured people.

Workers walk through a landslide following heavy rainstorms in Hong Kong, Sept. 8, 2023.
Workers walk through a landslide following heavy rainstorms in Hong Kong, Sept. 8, 2023.

Schools, businesses and financial markets were closed Friday, as forecasters and city officials said the rain would continue late into in the evening.

At a news conference Friday, Hong Kong’s acting director of drainage systems, Chui Si-Kay, said floods resulted from rain exceeding the city’s drainage capacity.

At the same news conference, Hong Kong Chief Secretary Eric Chan told reporters the rainfall was considered a “once in century” experience and was very difficult to predict.

Meteorologists with the Hong Kong Observatory said the rain came from a low-pressure system associated with the remnants of Typhoon Haikui which made landfall in the Chinese province of Fujian Tuesday.

The China Meteorological Administration said heavy rain would fall until early Saturday on the central and southwestern areas of Guangdong province.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and the French news agency, AFP.