News Alerts

17 Oct 2019 | 06:10 AM UTC

Hong Kong: MTR disruptions announced October 17 /update 129

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Public transport authorities announces planned disruptions to rail and bus services on October 17 amid ongoing protests; limited MTR service expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/17/2019, 12:00 AM until 10/21/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong Design Institute

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Event

The MTR Corporation announced at 05:00 (local time) on Thursday, October 17, that all MTR, Light Rail, and bus services will cease operations from 22:00 on Thursday due to repair works following violent protests. Representatives said that this would not affect the Airport Express. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website. Continued rail disruptions are expected in the coming days.

Demonstrations are expected to continue over the near term and may occur with little warning. Students are expected to gather as of 12:00 on Thursday in Tseung Kwan O (New Territories) at the Hong Kong Design Institute, and also strike on Friday, October 18. A masked human chain protest across 18 districts is expected to be held on Friday from 19:00 to 21:00. Supporters are being asked to wear a mask and gather at all MTR stations along the Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Island, and East Rail lines. Another rally to protest a recent ban on wearing masks is scheduled to be held on Sunday, October 20, in Tsim Sha Tsui. Protesters are being asked to gather at Salisbury Garden starting at 13:30 before marching to West Kowloon station. Clashes between protesters and security forces are possible.

A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity.

Context

On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests of up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.

Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.

Advice

Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.

 

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