Two hikers critical amid heat, haze

Top News | Stella Wong 9 Aug 2019

Two hikers remained in critical condition last night after being diagnosed with heat stroke amid the stifling heat, which led to the very hot weather warning being hoisted for most of yesterday.

A woman surnamed Lam, 26, and a man surnamed Lee, 57, are being treated at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.

Lam felt unwell and vomited at around noon while hiking with her friends at Yuk Kwai Shan in Aberdeen. Her friends called the emergency services and a rescue team later arrived at the scene.

An unconscious Lam was airlifted to hospital by a Government Flying Service helicopter.

Lee fainted at Tai Mun Shan at around 1.04pm while hiking with seven friends - all in their 50s and 60s - from Pak Tam Au to Sai Wan in Sai Kung. Firefighters and paramedics gathered at Wong Shek Pier and hiked up the hill to rescue Lee.

A Government Flying Service helicopter flew Lee, who was conscious, to hospital.

His seven friends also claimed to feel unwell later and were sent to Wan Chai Heliport by a helicopter before being taken to Ruttonjee Hospital by ambulance.

At 1 pm, the temperature in Pak Tam Chung reached 33 degrees Celsius.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued the very hot weather warning at 12.40pm and it remained in effect as of 9pm yesterday.

The maximum temperature reached 33.5 degrees at the observatory's headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui, while temperatures over most parts of the territory rose to 34 degrees or above.

Air pollution at all general and roadside stations in different districts reached serious levels late in the afternoon.

With Super Typhoon Lekima being at its closest to Taiwan today, the Environmental Protection Department said the air quality started to deteriorate yesterday. The department forecasts the Health Risk Category at general and roadside stations to be very high or worse today.

Tong Hang-wai, the observatory's scientific officer, said the outer subsiding air of Lekima led to poor visibility yesterday.

"With less wind under a stable atmospheric condition, it is difficult for the suspended particles in the air to be blown away," he said.

The observatory forecasts Lekima to move across the sea east of Taiwan and edge closer to Zhejiang province today.

"It will be very hot with showers and thunderstorms over Guangdong in the next couple of days," it said.

Temperatures today will range between 28 and 34 degrees.

The maximum temperature will be around 34 degrees in urban areas, and a couple of degrees higher in the New Territories.

The weather today will be mainly fine and very hot. There will be haze at first, with isolated showers and thunderstorms in the morning and at night.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau issued sea and land warnings as Lekima approached the sea off the eastern part of Taiwan. It will pose a threat to various areas, including Taichung, Yilan, Hualien and Taipei.

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