Railway services suspended in open sections for Typhoon Signal No. 9 and above, trains to operate towards safe stations as much as possible

Eric Chan

16th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) In an effort to enhance safety measures and preparedness for extreme weather conditions, the Hong Kong government, led by Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan, held a joint press conference today (16th) with other relevant officials and department heads. The move comes after Hong Kong experienced a century-level torrential rainstorm on 7th and 8th September last year, which prompted the government to declare an “extreme situation” on 8th September. However, many citizens were unfamiliar with the guidelines for such situations, and the government’s communication was criticized for being chaotic, resulting in numerous commuters facing difficulties during the heavy downpour.

Chief Secretary Eric Chan emphasised that in light of the repeated occurrence of severe weather, various bureaus have diligently analyzed their experiences and formulated multiple measures to comprehensively and fully deploy responses, aligning with the four major policy directions outlined in the government’s policy address. Chan stressed the importance of prioritising personal safety over curiosity when approaching incoming typhoons, stating, “It is absolutely unacceptable to engage in such risky behaviour.” He further mentioned that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department would strengthen public education efforts through the production of videos and intensified beach broadcasts, and stern law enforcement actions, including prosecutions, would be taken against those who disregard warnings to serve as a strong deterrent.

Regarding the suspension of railway services during Typhoon Signal No. 9 or above, Chan disclosed that after discussions with the Transport Department, the Transport and Logistics Bureau, and MTR Corporation Limited, it was determined that suspending services under such circumstances would be the safest and most prudent course of action. However, improvements have been made to the arrangements. Trains operating in open sections during Typhoon Signal No. 9 will make every effort to proceed to their original final destinations or to larger stations where stranded passengers can be accommodated or connected to nearby shopping malls, ensuring their safe disembarkation and providing convenience to passengers.