Hikers ignored warnings of safety hazards at Hong Kong’s country parks on Sunday, as they traversed the remnants of landslides and other debris left over from a record-breaking rainstorm that devastated the city earlier this month.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department had reminded hikers that many country park trails were temporarily closed following the extreme weather event, and that they should not try to enter for safety reasons.

As of Sunday morning, about 25 country park trails and other pathways were still marked as closed to the public, according to the department’s website.

Hikers trek the Shing Mun Forest Track in Shing Mun Country Park despite debris from the record rainfall less than two weeks ago. Photo: Sam Tsang

The city was hit by Super Typhoon Saola earlier this month, followed by its worst rainstorm on record on September 8, which triggered an unprecedented 16-hour black alert and unleashed a quarter of the city’s total annual rainfall in just 24 hours.

The downpour resulted in more than 140 people being sent to hospital, sparked flash floods which turned roads into raging rivers and caused at least 39 landslides across the city.

The weather has since remained unstable and rainy, with red rainstorm warnings issued twice.

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At the popular Shing Mun Country Park, landslides and fallen trees had blocked off entire sections of the walking paths.


But the Post observed dozens of hikers bypassing cordon lines and other barricades on Sunday.

Lam Cho-tin, a 70-year-old retiree, was seen crossing over a cordon line set up in the aftermath of a landslide which had cut off the reservoir section of the Shing Mun Forest Track.

Some residents have voiced frustration over debris not being cleared from paths. Photo: Sam Tsang

Lam shrugged off any safety concerns about traversing the terrain.

“No problem. There is a pathway you can go around and there is no rain today,” he said, referring to a makeshift path formed by other hikers who had crossed the area previously.

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Another 68-year-old retiree, who gave his surname as Chan, expressed frustration at authorities for not clearing the debris, before he crossed over the remnants of the same landslide.

“The government has not been very quick. It should do more to clear the path,” he said.

Some hikers say they were unaware the paths were closed to the public. Photo: Sam Tsang

Although certain sections of the country park were clearly marked as closed, including smaller paths, those walking along some of the larger trails were unaware the routes had been declared unsafe.


“I didn’t notice any signs saying I couldn’t come here,” said a 40-year-old hiker surnamed Chan who was walking with her friend along the reservoir section of the Shing Mun Forest Track. But she also shrugged off concerns about safety.

“This road has been here for 40 to 50 years. If it can last this long, then it isn’t dangerous,” she said.

Areas have been cordoned off for safety after the record-breaking rainstorm. Photo: Sam Tsang

An engineer in his 50s, who only gave the surname Chen, said he and his wife hiked Shing Mun Country Park regularly, adding they would continue along the paths even if they had been sealed off.


“According to our own assessment, everything is fine,” he said.

Other country parks that have had tracks sealed off include Lion Rock, Shek O, Plover Cove, Pat Sin Leng, Tai Tam, Aberdeen, Pok Fu Lam and Lantau South.