Published: 15:03, April 23, 2024 | Updated: 17:26, April 23, 2024
HK coordinates with neighbors on weather responses amid warning
By Atlas Shao and Fang Xue in Hong Kong
Police officers maintain order as part of Lung Cheung Road is flooded in Wong Tai Sin on Sept 8, 2023. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

The Hong Kong Observatory warned residents to prepare for possible flooding on Tuesday afternoon, after heavy rain and strong gusts battered the city earlier in the day.

The observatory issued the amber rainstorm signal – the lowest signal in the three-tier warning system – at 8:30 am as a band of intense thundery showers over the Pearl River Estuary was gradually moving eastwards. The signal indicates that precipitation is expected to exceed 30 millimeters in one hour, with flooding risks in some low-lying and poorly drained areas.

The signal was removed at 12:50 pm, and the observatory warned people to stay alert for river flooding that may occur.

Most parts in Shenzhen, including the Luohu and Futian districts, issued their highest rainstorm warning signal at 11 am due to continuous rainfall. The signal was downgraded to yellow, the second-highest warning in the three-tier system, at 12:20 pm.

READ MORE: 3 dead, 11 missing in Guangdong rainstorm

On Tuesday morning, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said at a news conference ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting that the city is in close communication with neighboring cities over the best ways to tackle emergencies during extreme weather conditions.

On Monday, the Hong Kong SAR government organized an interdepartmental drill, lasting four hours, to improve its emergency response capabilities in the face of extreme weather

Lee said that Hong Kong and nearby mainland cities have agreed to take steps to minimize the impact of possible flood discharges during extreme rainstorms.

Lee said that the mainland authorities have agreed that if they need to discharge floodwater from reservoirs near Hong Kong, they will inform the city early to allow enough time for it to prepare and respond.

On Monday, the Hong Kong SAR government organized an interdepartmental drill, lasting four hours, to improve its emergency response capabilities in the face of extreme weather.

ALSO READ: Flooded Guangdong acts swiftly

The drill, codenamed "Exercise Touchdown II", was based on a scenario in which a super typhoon had caused severe flooding, with the government needing to mobilize interdepartmental manpower and form emergency response teams to provide support to the community.

After receiving a "government-wide mobilization" order from the chief executive during the drill, around 10,000 public servants from all bureaus and departments were put on standby. About 260 of them were required to assemble at the Cheung Wah Community Hall in Fanling, the main base for the drill, while the others were required to reach designated locations for briefings.

READ MORE: CE stresses probe after 2 dead in Sha Tin manhole gas accident

The Logistics Department also participated in the drill, arranging for vehicles and supplies to be made available.

Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan said the drill helped public servants to familiarize with the arrangements under the mobilization protocol. She said the Civil Service Bureau will continue to conduct timely drills and exercises to enhance the mobility and response capabilities of government staff members.