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Hong Kong Experiences Nearly 10,000 Lightning Strikes Overnight

Photo : Paul Yeung

Hong Kong experienced an electrifying night as nearly 10,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes illuminated the city's skyline from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, as reported by the city's weather observatory. This surge in lightning activity coincides with Hong Kong's typical weather pattern in April, characterized by high humidity levels in anticipation of the monsoon season. Residents are accustomed to sudden downpours during their daily work commutes, and this thunderstorm was no exception.

The spectacle began at 9:00 pm on Tuesday, with the observatory recording an astonishing 5,914 lightning bolts within a single hour, accompanied by heavy rainfall. By Wednesday morning at 10:59 am, the total count had risen to 9,437 ground-to-lightning strikes, with the New Territories East region bearing the brunt of the storm.

Hong Kong Island also experienced a significant number of lightning strikes, with the towering skyscrapers serving as a dramatic backdrop to the dazzling display. The intensity of the thunderstorm led to disruptions at Hong Kong's international airport, while videos circulated on social media depicted violent winds lashing at a Cantonese opera theatre in the eastern Sai Kung region, where bamboo scaffolding was erected.

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The weather observatory issued warnings of continued showers and "squally thunderstorms" throughout Wednesday evening and into Thursday, urging residents to remain vigilant. Despite the adverse weather conditions, the city had planned a pyrotechnics show for Wednesday evening to celebrate May 1, marking the beginning of China's Golden Week. This event was anticipated to attract Chinese travelers visiting Hong Kong during the holiday period.

As Hong Kong braced itself for further stormy weather, residents and authorities remained resilient, demonstrating their preparedness to navigate through challenging weather conditions characteristic of the region during this time of the year.

May 1, 2024 3:56 p.m. 6455

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