We already noticed that there were hardly any people in the MTR, no waiting line for the shuttle bus and the elevator ladies weren't there also. This was a bit weird! While we thought we were late (again), we entered the office and it was empty. The only one who was there was Franko from Gaastra. He asked us what we were doing here, since it's black rain today. Never heard of black rain in my life but the only thing I know now is that everybody stays home, so that's why it was so quiet everywhere.
The rainstorm warning system is designed to alert the public about the occurrence of heavy rain which is likely to bring about major disruptions, and to ensure a state of readiness within the essential services to deal with emergencies. It is independent of other severe weather warnings such as tropical cyclone warning and landslip warning, which will be issued separately where necessary.
There are three levels of warning: AMBER, RED and BLACK.
- The AMBER signal gives alert about potential heavy rain that may develop into RED or BLACK signal situations. There will be flooding in some low-lying and poorly drained areas. Key Government departments and major transport and utility operators are put on alert.
- 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.
Once issued, the signals are broadcast over radio and television. For your own safety, listen to radio or television announcements for the latest information.
What to do with black rain:
- Stay indoors or take shelter in a safe place until the heavy rain has passed.
- Employees working outdoors in exposed areas should stop work and take shelter.
- People having no safe place to go may take temporary refuge in any of the special temporary shelters opened by the Home Affairs Department.
- Employers are advised not to require their employees to go to work unless prior agreement on work arrangements during rainstorms has been made.
- People who are already at work should stay where they are unless it is dangerous to do so.
So, fact is: we could have stayed home, safe in our beds but we're at work.. dedicated workers as we are! My coach, who is here now as well (he was also surprised that we are here) told us that the last time that there was black rain, was in 2011. I don't know if I need to feel special that I'm experiencing this.. it's just a shitload of rain, which reminds me of Holland.