Normally no more than a trickle, this was the scene near Hong Kong’s Waterfall Bay this morning as hours of rain made the daily commute a misery and forced Hong Kong Observatory to issue a landslip warning.

The torrent cascaded downhill and off the cliff onto the beach below, between Wah Fu and Cyberport following a night of storms.

Hong Kong Observatory raised the amber rainstorm warning signal at 3:35am, indicating rainfall of more than 30 millimetres an hour in parts of the territory, while the actual reported rainfall topped 40mm an hour in some parts.

Lamma Island saw terrific thunderstorms for hours, with several people reporting lightning strikes on their properties and reporting power outages.

Waterfall Bay on a normal day. Photo: Ryan Kilpatrick for HKFP.

The bad weather triggered dozens of calls to emergency services, with automatic fire alarms, people stuck in lifts and downed trees among the most common. Rockfalls and landslides were also reported.

A statement on the Observatory site at 10:30am read: “There will be flooding in some low-lying and poorly drained areas. People who are likely to be affected should take necessary precautions to reduce their exposure to risk posed by the heavy rain and flooding.

“Heavy rain may bring about flash floods. People should stay away from watercourses. People who are likely to be affected by flooding should take necessary precautions to avoid losses.”

Forecasters have predicted thunderstorms for the coming four days.

The Observatory said today’s forecast was: “Cloudy with showers. Showers will be heavy at times in the morning with a few squally thunderstorms.”

On Monday afternoon, 14-meter-tall tree weighing up to ten tonnes was uprooted by the strong winds outside Central Government Offices, crashing down on a van and striking a cleaning woman from a nearby construction site.

Fallen tree outside Central Government Offices. Photo: Ryan Kilpatrick for HKFP.
Fallen tree outside Central Government Offices. Photo: Ryan Kilpatrick for HKFP.
Fallen tree outside Central Government Offices. Photo: Ryan Kilpatrick for HKFP.

The woman suffered minor injuries to her head, neck, arms and legs but was said to be in a stable condition later in the day. Workers took five hours to remove the 80-year-old banyan from Lower Albert Road.


Ryan Kilpatrick

Ryan Kilpatrick is a local writer, journalist and editor. Formerly National Online Editor for the That's magazine group in China, his work on the history and politics of the region has earned him the CEFC Award in Modern China Studies and has also appeared in China Economic Review, Asian Studies Review, China Green News, e-International Relations, Shanghaiist and various publications at his alma mater, the University of Hong Kong, where he is currently enrolled in the Master of Journalism programme.