Hong Kong Shuts Schools, Halts Trading Due to Typhoon Koinu Flooding
Hong Kong experienced significant disruption on Monday as Typhoon Koinu brought torrential rain, prompting school closures and the suspension of stock exchange trading. While the typhoon had weakened to a severe tropical storm, it still caused non-stop rain and led to a "black" rainstorm warning signal, the highest level, for about six hours.
Hong Kong faces disruption due to Typhoon Koinu
According to the Hong Kong Observatory, more than 150 millimeters of rain have fallen in most of Hong Kong since midnight, while certain parts of the metropolitan Hong Kong island have been hit with more than 300 millimeters of precipitation.
Flash floods and transport disruptions
The observatory issued warnings about potential flash floods and urged residents to stay away from watercourses. Additionally, those living near rivers were advised to be alert in case evacuation was necessary. Due to the storm warning, trading at the stock exchange was suspended during the morning session but was set to resume in the afternoon. Schools and daycare centers remained closed for the day.
Repeated Black Rain Warning
This marked the second time in a month that Hong Kong issued a black rain warning. In early September, the city experienced its highest rainfall in nearly 140 years, leading to flooding in subway stations, malls, and landslides. While no major damage was initially reported during Typhoon Koinu, the suspension of transport services at Hong Kong's international airport caused delays for arriving passengers.
Impact in China's Guangdong Province
The path of Typhoon Koinu was anticipated to take it across the province of Guangdong in China on its route to Hainan Island. The cities of Zhuhai and Jiangmen in the province of Guangdong issued a Level III emergency reaction, which resulted in the temporary closure of coastal scenic sites and the return of more than 35,500 fishing boats to port.
Climate Change's Role
Typhoons are known to strike Southern China often during the summer and fall seasons; however, climate change has made these storms more unpredictable and severe. This results in an increase in precipitation, greater winds, flash flooding, and damage to coastal areas. The warming of the waters east of the Philippines, which is where typhoons originate before moving westward, is what the experts believe to be the cause of these changes.
Hong Kong's response to Typhoon Koinu highlights the need for preparedness and vigilance in the face of unpredictable weather events, as extreme weather conditions become more frequent and severe due to climate change.