Record flooding strikes Hong Kong as deadly deluge injures over 140, brings city to standstill

The Hong Kong Observatory recorded the largest rainfall in 140 years with 6.2 inches falling between 11 p.m. and midnight on Thursday. The heavy rains continued into Friday, raising concerns over local officials' preparedness.

HONG KONG – Record-breaking rain from the remnants of Typhoon Haikui has caused historic flooding in Hong Kong, resulting in at least two deaths reported, over 140 injuries, and widespread landslides.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported the heaviest rainfall in 140 years, with a staggering 6.2 inches pouring down in just one hour between 11 p.m. and midnight last Thursday.


The extreme weather event caused streets to turn into rivers, stranding drivers, and flooding malls and train stations. On Friday, Hong Kong officials ordered the closure of schools and the stock exchange, asking workers to stay home due to the city's longest-ever 16-hour "black" rainstorm warning from the Observatory.

More than 140 people were hospitalized for flooding-related injuries, as rains triggered over three dozen landslides, reports the South China Morning Post

The Hong Kong Police shared a video recording of numerous individuals wading through a flooded area where the water level had risen to the height of their chest. The department said that two bodies were found floating in waters in different parts of the city, the Associated Press reports.

Among the dozens of rescues, police rescued 11 people, including five toddlers, who were trapped in Kau Wah Keng Village.

As the heavy rains continued into Friday, the impacts began to raise questions just days after the city dodged major damage from Typhoon Saola. Local officials faced scrutiny on Friday over their preparedness after one official reportedly claimed that the rare 500-year rainstorm was hard to forecast.

"(The rainstorm) was so big and so sudden. We could not act like we did in Super Typhoon Saola to issue warnings early," Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan said.