Hong Kong faced an unprecedented weather event on Friday, with its heaviest rainfall since 1884 causing flash floods, submerged metro stations, and stranded drivers. Schools were swiftly suspended, and people were urged to find safe shelter as the Hong Kong Observatory recorded a remarkable 158 mm of rain in one hour, the highest in a century. Some areas received nearly 500 mm of rain within 24 hours. Despite Typhoon Saola’s weakening, it still led to disruptions, including flight cancellations and 86 injuries. Transportation and businesses were severely affected, with the stock market halting morning trading and schools remaining closed. Residents like Stuart Hargreaves were left stranded in flooded cars. By Friday afternoon, 119 injuries had been reported, with four in serious condition. Authorities cautioned that these extreme conditions would persist until at least midnight, resulting in partial subway closures and suspended transportation services.

Furthermore, there was a heightened threat of landslides in the mountainous areas, prompting the issuance of the highest “black” rainstorm warning for the first time in two years. Additionally, the government cautioned about potential flooding in the northern New Territories district, which borders mainland China, following Shenzhen’s announcement of a water release from a reservoir. Shenzhen itself experienced record-breaking rainfall, resulting in transportation disruptions and school closures in the neighboring city.