Hong Kong, Nov 13 (IANS) Protesters on Wednesday continued to block roads and obstruct railway services in several districts of Hong Kong for the third consecutive day.
Train services on the Kwun Tong Line, East Rail Line and part of the West Rail Line were suspended due to damages of station facilities Wednesday morning, according to rail operator Mass Transit Railway Corporation, Xinhua reported.
Train stations including Mong Kok, Tung Chung, Sha Tin, Hang Hau and Tseung Kwan O were closed due to vandalism and train door obstruction at stations, the company said on its website, warning that more stations may be closed at any time without prior notice due to safety reasons.
Another 16 stations including Yuen Long,Causeway Bay and University of Hong Kong will be closed earlier at 8:00 p.m. local time, the company announced Wednesday afternoon.
Several light rail services were also halted or partially suspended.
Rioters have set barricades and destroyed public transportation facilities across Hong Kong, with a number of roads blocked in Kowloon and the New Territories and dozens of bus services affected, according to the Hong Kong police and transport authorities.
Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan told media that while 12 million trips are made via public transport daily in Hong Kong, attacks on railway and bus services have slashed public transport capacity to less than 3 million trips.
Only 100 out of around 650 bus service routes in Hong Kong were able to provide limited services as of Wednesday morning, according to Chan.
Traffic lights in various districts were also unable to work due to destruction. Transport authorities said 220 sets of damaged traffic lights are still being repaired in various districts, advising people to pay special attention to road safety at affected junctions.
Chan said vandalism on public transport facilities were “extremely dangerous,” including setting fire to train coaches, throwing fire bombs to running trains and destroying rail tracks, which could cause serious casualties.
Traffic disruption on Wednesday came after rioters wreaked havoc across Hong Kong for two days this week by paralysing traffic, setting fire at various locations and assaulting residents who did not agree with them.
In one of the most violent events on Tuesday, a large group of radicals gathered in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, holding chain saws and bamboo sticks. In clashes with police, they shot arrows, threw petrol bombs and pointed laser pens at police officers.