Hong Kong was brought to a standstill on Friday as it grappled with record-breaking rainfall, described as the heaviest since 1884. The deluge, which began late Thursday night, resulted in flash flooding, submerged metro stations, and trapped drivers on inundated roads. Authorities swiftly took action by suspending schools and urging the public to seek safe shelter.Hong Kong, with its 7.5 million residents, grappled with scenes of people navigating floodwaters and streets turned into torrents during a record-breaking rainfall event. The Hong Kong Observatory reported an astonishing 158 mm of rain in a single hour, the highest hourly rainfall ever recorded since 1884. Some areas received nearly 500 mm of rain within 24 hours. This followed Typhoon Saola, which, despite weakening upon reaching Hong Kong, caused disruptions, including flight cancellations and 86 injuries. The aftermath included widespread transportation and business disruptions, with the stock market suspending morning trading, schools remaining closed, and resident Stuart Hargreaves describing his night stranded in a flooded car. As of Friday afternoon, 119 injuries had been reported, with four in serious condition. Authorities warned that these extreme conditions would persist until at least midnight, leading to partial subway closures and suspended transportation services.

In addition, the threat of landslides in the mountainous region led to the issuance of the highest “black” rainstorm warning for the first time in two years. The government also warned of potential flooding in the northern New Territories district, adjacent to mainland China, after the city of Shenzhen announced the release of water from a reservoir. Shenzhen itself experienced record-breaking rainfall, disrupting transportation and causing school closures.