« Hong Kong officials held a presser on Friday, giving more details about the situation after a flash flood battered the city on Thursday.
Mr. Chan Kwok-ki, the Chief Secretary for Administration, said the predictability of such a storm cannot be compared with the predictability of a typhoon. “As mentioned by a colleague, it was once in 500 years. So, it’s so big and so sudden and predictability is so low. So that’s why we could not act as former by typhoon Saola that we could do the announcement very early before.”
According to the press, Hong Kong’s observatory recorded 158.1 millimetres, per square meter, per hour at its headquarters, the highest since 1884, when the records began. Until Friday morning, two people have died and more than 100 were reported as injured. Other recordings suggested until 600 mm of rainfall in parts of Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories. The amount of water that fell in 24 hours is equivalent to 1/4 of the total annual rainfall for the region.
While answering why the government didn’t use the HK$150 million emergency system to warn residents via SMS, Chan said “we have issued different heavy rain signals to the public. So, I think the announcement is already enough to alert all the members of the public.”
Another topic questioned was the flood discharge from Shenzhen. Mr. Tang Ping-keung, the Secretary for Security said Hong Kong received the notice from Shenzhen 45 minutes before the discharge.
“I know that the public may be worried because the Shenzhen discharge has led to waterlogging in Hong Kong. As a matter of fact, the discharge of flood from Shenzhen is a safety measure for both Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and it is also part of our original plan,” stated Tang.
“In fact, there is not a single case of severe flooding in inland areas. The flooding in Hong Kong in a number of regions does not seem to be directly related to Shenzhen,” he continued. »