Pupils and parents were caught out on Tuesday morning as the Education Bureau cancelled classes whilst many students were already en route to school. At 7:49am, classes at all whole-day schools and morning schools were cancelled due to the red rainstorm. The signal was hoisted by the Hong Kong Observatory at 7:35am and, as of 9:35am, it was lowered to a yellow rainstorm signal.

Students in the rain. Photo: Apple Daily.

Some teachers and parents complained online that students had already begun making their way to, or had arrived at, school.

“My daughter was halfway to school when the red rainstorm was hoisted. Would it kill them to hoist it half an hour earlier[?] I am really angry. The point is that my daughter is all wet, even having an umbrella is no use,” said Kaka Li, a parent posting on Facebook.

“My school bell rings at 7:55am. The Education Bureau announces at 7:50am that there was no need to hold classes. Thanks,” a teacher in Wong Tai Sin said in another post.

Rainfall over the past 24-hours. Photo: HKO.

Another commenter, Fanny Lui said: “[My daughter] got on the school bus at 7:30, the uncle called at 7:46 to ask me to pick my daughter up. I’m angry, but it’s lucky I don’t have to work today.”

Photo: HKO.

Kevin Yeung Yun-hung,Under Secretary for Education, said on an RTHK radio show that it “has always been difficult deciding which time is better” for cancelling classes. He said that he too “did not want students to go to class all wet [as] it is uncomfortable.”

Flooded roads in Yuen Long. Photo: Catherine Kwok Catpcpooh, via Facebook.

Elsewhere, traffic was congested and roads in Yuen Long were flooded.

Flooded road in Yuen Long. Kasing Ho, via Facebook.

The weather is expected to be rainy through next Wednesday with temperatures remaining in the high twenties.

Photo: Hong Kong Observatory.

Humidity levels will also remain above 70% throughout the week.


Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.