Hong Kong was flooded by the heaviest rainfall in nearly 140 years on Friday, leaving the city’s streets and some subway stations under water and forcing its schools to close.
Just across the border, authorities in China’s tech hub Shenzhen recorded the heaviest rains since records began in 1952.
Climate change has increased the intensity of tropical storms, experts say, with more rain and stronger gusts leading to flash floods and coastal damage.
The heavy rainfall in Hong Kong started on Thursday and in the hour leading up to midnight, the city’s weather observatory recorded hourly rainfall of 158.1 millimeters at its headquarters, the highest since records began in 1884.
“It’s absolutely shocking,” said Jacky, 52, who lives in the Wong Tai Sin district with his elderly parents. “I don’t remember floods ever being this bad in our district.”
“The bottom floor of the mall is completely flooded, the water level is higher than the storefronts… it’s turned our day into chaos,” he added.
Authorities issued flash flood warnings, with emergency services conducting rescue operations in parts of the territory.
“Residents living in close proximity to rivers should stay alert to weather conditions and should consider evacuation” if their homes are flooded, the observatory said.