‘Once-in-500-years’ storm brings death and destruction to Hong Kong

Severe flooding in Hong Kong heaviest sine 1884

Hong Kong and Shenzhen were hit by an unprecedented “once-in-500-years” storm that brought torrential rain, leaving death and destruction in its wake.

The heaviest rain in Hong Kong’s recorded history, spanning 140 years, wreaked havoc on Friday, resulting in the tragic deaths of two individuals and injuring over 100 people.

The neighboring Shenzhen, with its 17.7 million residents, was also severely affected.

In a grim series of events, two men were found floating unconscious in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, less than two hours apart.

The first, an 87-year-old man, was discovered near Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter.

Despite being rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai, he was declared dead around 11:30 am, with the police attributing it to suicide. Shortly before noon, another man was found floating near the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal, also succumbing to the relentless rain. Details about the second man remain unknown.

Videos circulating on social media depicted the gravity of the situation, with water inundating streets, tunnels, and metro stations. The severe weather conditions extended their reach to Shenzhen, disrupting business and transportation in the Pearl River Delta—a vital economic region.

Hong Kong issued its highest “black” rainstorm warning, recording nearly 8 inches of rain on the main island. While the alert was lowered by 6 pm, authorities maintained concerns about ongoing flooding.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, John Lee, expressed his deep concern and instructed all departments to mobilize “all-out efforts” in response to the severe flooding. As a result, schools were shut, workers were advised to stay home, and the stock exchange remained closed.

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Horrifying videos showed the Chai Wan district shopping half-submerged underwater. In a separate incident, more than 100 pigs near the border with Shenzhen drowned in the flood. Residents were also seen wading through knee-deep water while the Shenzhen railway station became flooded, stranding approximately 100 people.

As Hong Kong and Shenzhen grapple with the aftermath of this unprecedented storm, the resilience of these cities will undoubtedly be tested as they work to rebuild and adapt to the challenges brought by this “once-in-500-years” event.

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