A woman and a boy boarded a minibus amid rain in Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong, May 12, 2022. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Classes of all morning schools and whole-day schools are suspended on Friday as heavy rains battered Hong Kong during early morning hours, prompting the observatory to issue this year's first red rainstorm warning.
The decision by the Education Bureau came as the Hong Kong Observatory issued the Red Rainstorm Warning signal at 4:25 am. The warning signifies that that heavy rain has fallen or is expected to fall generally over Hong Kong, exceeding 50 millimeters in an hour, and is likely to continue.
The Hong Kong Observatory forecast occasional heavy showers over the weekend. Showers will ease off gradually but the temperatures will fall to around 19 degrees on Monday
The observatory lowered the warning to amber at 7:05 am as rains subsided. All rainstorm warning signals were canceled at 7:40 am.
READ MORE: Amber rainstorm warning as downpour continues in HK
In its latest weather bulletin issued at 8:45 am, the HKO said an active trough of low pressure is bringing showers and thunderstorms to the coast of Guangdong and the northern part of the South China Sea.
“Locally, more than 50 millimeters of rainfall were recorded over many places this morning, and rainfall even exceeded 90 millimeters over Hong Kong Island and Tseung Kwan O,” according to the forecaster.
The HKO forecast occasional heavy showers over the weekend. Showers will ease off gradually but the temperatures will fall to around 19 degrees on Monday.
It also issued the landslip warning at 9:15 am and called on members of the public to stay away from steep slopes or retaining walls.
Besides, a thunderstorm warning was issued at 2:10 am and lasted until 9 am. Due to the warning, the flag-raising ceremony to at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai scheduled at 8 am was cancelled.
Hong Kong's stock market remains open as usual.
In a statement, the Education Bureau said schools should implement contingency plans and arrange staff to look after students who might arrive and ensure that conditions are safe before allowing them to return home.
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A spokesman for the Labour Department called on employers to make practical and reasonable work arrangements for staff after rainstorms.
“Employers should also make flexible arrangements for staff to resume work or work from home (if applicable) after a rainstorm warning is cancelled, with due consideration to road and traffic conditions and other factors,” a statement quoted the spokesman as saying.