Hong Kong lashed with nearly 10,000 lightning strikes overnight

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Hong Kong lashed with nearly 10,000 lightning strikes overnight

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Tourists from mainland China visit the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in Hong Kong on May 1, 2024 at the start of the Golden Week holiday period. — AFP pic

HONG KONG, May 1 — Hong Kong was lashed by nearly 10,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes from last night to this morning, according to data from the city’s weather observatory.

The Chinese city is accustomed to high humidity levels during April leading up to monsoon season, with residents prepared for sudden downpours during their workday commutes.

Beginning 9.00pm Tuesday evening, Hong Kong skies put on a flashy display, with the observatory recording 5,914 lightning bolts in a single hour as rain bucketed down.

By 10.59am on Wednesday, it had recorded 9,437 ground-to-lighting strikes, with the majority hitting Hong Kong’s New Territories East region.

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Hong Kong island was the second-largest recipient of strikes, with towering residential buildings lit up by the near-constant bolts.

Tuesday night’s thunderstorm also caused delays at Hong Kong’s international airport, while in the eastern Sai Kung region, violent winds whipped at a Cantonese opera theatre made up of bamboo scaffolding, according to video shared on social media.

The observatory said Wednesday that showers and “squally thunderstorms” would continue through the evening and into Thursday.

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The city had planned a pyrotechnics show on Wednesday evening to mark May 1, the start of China’s Golden Week in which Chinese travellers were expected to holiday in Hong Kong. — AFP

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