Bridges collapse and roads become rivers as 11,000 people evacuated in Hong Kong

Overnight, heavy rain soaked Hong Kong and southern China, causing extensive flooding of major streets and even some tube stations.

This rainfall caused transportation disruptions and forced school closures.

Videos of flooded streets in Hong Kong and neighbouring Guangdong province circulated on social media. Vehicles crossed the flooded highways, and rescue personnel traversed the soggy areas on rafts.

Water cascaded down staircases and escalators in a Hong Kong metro station, while cars became stalled in the muddy waters of flooded streets, including the cross-harbour tunnel between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

Due to the heavy rain, schools in Hong Kong and the mainland city of Shenzhen were closed, while non-essential workers in Hong Kong were urged not to commute to work on Friday.

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Furthermore, due to the inclement weather, most bus services in Hong Kong were suspended.

Hong Konger Vivian Hui, 27, lives in Shenzhen, near to Hong Kong, which is one of the areas experiencing more severe weather conditions, told “There’s been very heavy rainfall since last night, average rainfall of about 380l per metre squared apparently, the electricity in my building went out around 2am last night [because the basement was flooded] and this morning the water was out as well.”

She said: “I live on the 17th floor so mostly felt safe, I woke up at 9am with electricity and water being out and it was still raining heavily, thought I would wait it out a bit and went back to sleep until noon, by then it has gotten better and I could go out already.”

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Vivian explained that authorities had not ordered an evacuation “but there’s been official text message warnings to stay away from slopes and evacuate to safety if needed”.

She said that the situation reportedly improved during the morning after a challenging night.

The 27-year-old explained while there was no official evacuation, people could move around, although there was traffic due to stalled cars which had been abandoned by their owners.

Meanwhile, some food delivery services continued to operate, allowing people to order essentials.

She said that sandbags were mainly prepared in the lobby areas of high-rise buildings as a precautionary measure.

The Hong Kong Observatory measured 158.1mm (6.2 inches) of rain in one hour, the largest amount ever recorded since 1884. Over 200mm (7.8 inches) of rain fell over Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

More than 11,000 people were evacuated from flooded districts in Meizhou, Guangdong province, on the mainland. In Guangdong, train and airline services were suspended, and many landslides obstructed roads.

Shenzhen received the greatest rainfall in recorded history, totaling 469mm (18.4 inches).

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