Hong Kong suffers severe flooding from Typhoon Koinu

In yet another indication of the severity of storm surge risk, Hong Kong, only recently recovered from the effects of Typhoon Saola, saw heavy flooding on Monday 9 October as the remnants of Typhoon Koinu brought heavy rains and strong winds.

Koinu had weakened into a severe tropical storm but still brought gale-force winds and heavy rain, the city’s Observatory said. It was tracking west or west-southwest at around 10 kph (6 miles per hour) as it crossed the western coast of China’s southern Guangdong province.

It was the second time in a month the city’s authorities had sent out a “black” rain warning — the highest in Hong Kong.

Most of the region saw more than 150 millimeters of rainfall in the early hours of Monday, and rainfall exceeded 300 millimeters over some parts of urban Hong Kong island, according to data.

Koinu was moving west-southwest at around 10 kilometers per hour (6 miles per hour) as it crossed the western coast of China’s Guangdong province, Hong Kong’s observatory said. The typhoon was downgraded at 10:30 a.m. local time (0230 GMT).

Schools were shut on 8 October while the city’s stock exchange closed for the morning session. 

Hong Kong’s weather bureau issued a landslide warning with many areas of the mountainous city at risk after unusually wet weather. In the southern part of the city, huge gushes of water washed down Repulse Bay Road prompting the closure of some parts, videos on social media showed.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at Hong Kong’s airport overnight and underground metro stations as Koinu disrupted flights and transport, public broadcaster RTHK reported.