"Hong Kong has seen hail many times in history. But hailstorms in large areas, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong are rare. It could be a case of people's complaints not being heard," she said.
Had the hailstones hit their mark, they might have knocked some sense in to Ling-ling ... and/or knocked the $h!t out of her!
Hailstone havoc (The Standard)
Qi Luo and Eddie Luk
Monday, March 31, 2014
Hailstones the size of golf balls battered several areas of Hong Kong last night causing extensive damage and forcing the Hong Kong Observatory to hoist the first black storm warning of the year.
Though this was lowered after two hours, the damage was heavy with torrents of rain cascading through shattered window panes at the glitzy Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong.
Elsewhere, more than 20 containers collapsed at Kwai Chung terminal, scores of trees were uprooted and there was extensive flooding in several areas, especially the northwest New Territories where farmers said crops were ruined.
The amber rainstorm warning was raised at 7.45pm before intensifying to red at 8.15pm. Shortly after 8.30pm the black signal was raised together with a warning that rainfall in excess of 100mm an hour was expected in several areas.
By 8pm, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and Wong Tai Sin all reported heavy rain and flooding. Hail hit Wong Tai Sin, Yuen Long, Tsing Yi, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Kowloon Tong and North District.
At Tsz Wan Shan the hailstorm lasted for more than five minutes. At Sham Tseng, Lok Fu and San Po Kong the hailstones measured about 3cm across.
Flooding was also reported in Wong Tai Sin and Kowloon Tong MTR stations forcing commuters to roll up their trousers or pick up their skirts.
Train service was also temporarily disrupted due to heavy rains affecting services at Kowloon Tong MTR station. Trains ran at 12-minute intervals between Hung Hom and Tai Wai at one poi
nt, and at eight-minute intervals between Tai Wai and Lo Wu.
Curtains of rain poured through the glass ceiling of the seven-story Festival Walk as staff fought to block the water from entering their shops and restaurants.
Workers were later kept busy mopping up with shoppers taking pictures.
More than 130 flights were either diverted or postponed at Hong Kong International Airport. The Education Bureau asked schools and tuition centers not to release students until it was safe.
Though the black signal was lowered at 10.30pm the observatory said the thunderstorm warning would remain in force for several hours. The downpour was blamed on a trough of low pressure that brought thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain to the coastal areas of Guangdong. In addition, a fresh to strong easterly airstream is affecting the coast of southeastern China.
The observatory said the skies will remain cloudy today with rain which will be heavy at times with squally thunderstorms. Temperatures will range between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius with the weather remaining unsettled for a few days.
Feng shui consultant Mak Ling-ling said hail in large areas generally means a warning of an upcoming bad economic or unstable political environment.
"Hong Kong has seen hail many times in history. But hailstorms in large areas, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong are rare," she said. "It could be a case of people's complaints not being heard."