(BBC) Hong Kong and southern Chinese cities are battling widespread flooding as the region endures some of its heaviest rainfall on record.

On Friday, streets and subway stations were underwater in Hong Kong as officials shut schools and workplaces.

The weather bureau said the downpour, which began on Thursday, is the biggest to hit the city in nearly 140 years.

Authorities have had to conduct several rescues, while pictures showed locals wading through flooded streets.

On Friday, Hong Kong authorities said at least 83 people had been taken to hospital in the past 24 hours due to the wild weather. The rain has also triggered landslides – blocking some roads.

Weather authorities issued a “black” rainstorm signal on Thursday night, a warning triggered by rainfall exceeding 70mm an hour. The Hong Kong Observatory later reported an hourly rainfall of 158.1 millimetres, the highest since records began in 1884.

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