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First red rain of the year ravages Hong Kong

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A surprise red rainstorm warning was issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 12.45pm on April 20, amidst the first serious thunderstorm of the year. Easter plans big and small had to be rearranged, as wind, rain and lightning strikes battered the city for several hours and left several dead.

According to the South China Morning Post, 40mm of rain was recorded to have fallen in the city, with 60mm and more recorded in parts of Lantau. Over 9,000 lightning strikes were recorded, with some 7,000 of those occurring between 2-3pm. Some witnesses described the winds as “a bit short of typhoon strength” and gusts exceeding 100 kmph were recorded.

Yahoo News HK reported that a a 53-year-old man was killed by lightning. At around 2pm on the day, the man, surnamed Fong, was struck by lightning while hiking from Ling Yan Monastery to Tai O along Cheung Shan peak. His friends immediately called the police and the unconscious man was airlifted to Tuen Mun Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:39pm. Fong, who worked for the MTR, is survived by his wife and eight-year-old daughter.

In a separate incident, a sampan with four people onboard capsized near Tung Lun Chau, east of Big Wave Bay. Three of the four people aboard were fished from the water by the police and one was certified dead upon reaching the hospital. Rescuers searched for the fourth person, but the man is still missing.

In Discovery Bay, the inclement weather caused the two major Easter Egg hunts to be reorganised and postponed respectively. At the Discovery Bay Recreation Club, the Easter Carnival was moved indoors with little disruption to the event. The Egg Hunt at Tai Pak Wan was rained out on both April 19 and 20, and was rescheduled to April 21-22.

Photo source: Hong Kong Observatory

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