Hong Kong rainstorm warning signals
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The rainstorm warning signals (Chinese: 暴雨警告信號) are a set of signals used in Hong Kong to alert the public about the occurrence of heavy rain which is likely to bring about major disruptions such as traffic congestion and floods. They also ensure a state of readiness within the essential services to deal with emergencies.
Hong Kong Observatory is responsible for launching these signals and the signals are broadcast over radio and television.
The three-level system
|Signal||Sign||Definition and Precautions|
|AMBER rainstorm signal||This signal means:
Heavy rain has fallen or is expected to fall generally over Hong Kong, exceeding 30 millimetres in an hour, and is likely to continue.
The AMBER signal (Chinese: 黃色暴雨警告) gives alert about potential heavy rain that may develop into RED or BLACK signal situations. There will be flooding in some low-lying areas and poorly drained areas.
|RED rainstorm signal||This signal means:
Heavy rain has fallen or is expected to fall generally over Hong Kong, exceeding 50 millimetres in an hour, and is likely to continue.
The RED signal (Chinese: 紅色暴雨警告) gives alert about potential heavy rain that may develop into BLACK signal situations. All students are to remain at school unless there is a visible risk to staying in the building. If still at home, all students are to stay at home until further notice. Listen to radios or check weather.
|BLACK rainstorm signal||This signal means:
Very heavy rain has fallen or is expected to fall generally over Hong Kong, exceeding 70 millimetres in an hour, and is likely to continue.
When the BLACK signal (Chinese: 黑色暴雨警告) is issued, Hong Kong will come to a complete standstill. Schools will not dismiss students unless there is a visible risk to staying at school, and everyone is recommended to seek shelter immediately. Buses and other forms of public transport may be halted after a while to allow commuters to go home, depending on demand and the level of risk along the route. MTR services will be limited or suspended because of the risk of flooding.
The RED and BLACK signals warn the public of heavy rain which is likely to bring about serious road flooding and traffic congestion. They will trigger response actions by Government departments and major transport and utility operators. The public will be given clear advice on the appropriate actions to take.
In May 1992, Hong Kong Observatory recorded 109.9 mm rainfall from 6 o'clock to 7 o'clock in the morning. Later, HKO proposed Hong Kong rainstorm warning signals which included four colours, green, amber, red and black.
- "二零零八年六月七日新聞發佈". 香港天文台.
- 何佩然 (2003). 《風雲可測：香港天文台與社會的變遷》. 香港: 香港大學出版社出版 .