A hiker poses at Hou Tong Kei, Sai Kung. Photo: Facebook/山野龍咁威
A hiker poses at Hou Tong Kei, Sai Kung. Photo: Facebook/山野龍咁威

Photos of a group of hikers who went into the hills in Hong Kong’s New Territories under a heavy-rainstorm warning have gone viral on social media and have drawn criticism from netizens.

The six hikers posted photos of their activities on Facebook on Wednesday showing them playing in Hou Tong Kei, a river in the Hoi Ha area of Sai Kung, news website HK01.com reported.

However, the Hong Kong Observatory issued an amber rainstorm warning that afternoon, followed by a red warning in the evening.

One of the photos showed a female hiker posing on the rocks amid heavy rainfall as water rushed down the hillside. Other photos showed the group climbing on the rocks or walking in raging waters.

The photos appeared on a Facebook page featuring hiking news, which sparked an outcry among many netizens who accused them of dangerous behavior.

The Facebook page administrator slammed the group for potentially putting other lives at risk if they had to be rescued, urging them to think about their own families as well as those of rescuers before going hiking after a rainfall alert.

Netizens echoed this, criticizing the group for being selfish by carrying on the activity under in dangerous weather conditions.

The Hong Kong weather forecaster advises the public to take necessary precautions to reduce their exposure to risks posed by heavy rain, such as flooding, adding that going near easily flooded watercourses should be avoided.

In August last year, a couple from mainland China were rescued by firefighters after being trapped in Kowloon Peak for 24 hours as a typhoon approached Hong Kong.

The rescue involved some 150 firefighters, 30 fire engines and nine ambulances, while 100 blankets had to send up the hill to keep rescuers warm.

Read: Big rescue team needed to save Chinese hikers amid typhoon