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Tens Of Thousands Leave Hong Kong: Severe Weather Strikes The American South; Massive "Crossrail" Project Wraps In London
Aired March 23, 2022 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. My name is Carl Azuz. It`s good to see you this Wednesday and we thank you for watching our show.
Lockdowns, masks, vaccines and mandates -- there`s been a flood of information and some conflicting studies concerning the steps taken to try
to stop COVID. One thing the restrictions have in common though is that they`re unpopular with the people they affect, and that problem is growing
in the city of Hong Kong.
This is a special administrative region of China. People in Hong Kong have had certain freedoms that mainland Chinese have not, but China`s communist
government says it ultimately controls Hong Kong and like that of mainland China, the government of Hong Kong has had very strict COVID rules.
Its borders have been mostly closed over the past two years. At one point, people who did travel had to quarantine for three weeks in a hotel room and
people who aren`t vaccinated haven`t been allowed to shop, dine out or go to the gym, the movies or hair salons.
For the first two years of the pandemic, Hong Kong had a relatively low number of COVID cases. But this year, despite its restrictions, the number
of cases has exploded, with thousands of people testing positive for the disease. And Hong Kong now has the highest COVID death rate in the world.
Critics have said because coronavirus isn`t going away, it`s time for Hong Kong to relax its restrictions and try to recover from the economic
consequences they`ve taken on one of the world`s major financial centers. This week, the city`s government said it would resume allowing flights from
nine countries that had been banned.
Chief executive Carrie Lam who leads the city said the ban isn`t needed anymore since Hong Kong`s COVID situation was no better than anywhere else.
Residents of Hong Kong who are coming back from other countries still have to be vaccinated and still have to quarantine but the length of that has
been reduced to one week.
Will this be enough? In the first half of this month, immigration data showed that more than 50,000 people left Hong Kong, while seven thousand
came into the city.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Literally driven away, thousands of Hong Kong residents have had enough. Unable to endure life in
a city which has become one of the most isolated in the world. As other countries are largely learning to live with the virus, people here are
fleeing the still oppressive COVID restrictions and they`re leaving by the thousands.
Even as they`re on their way out, these residents asked us to hide their identities.
KEN, ENTREPRENEUR: I think Hong Kong used to be one of the best places to be in every single aspect in general. And now, it`s losing a lot of the
edge of this advantage.
EDDIE, NURSE: If we don`t leave, nothing will -- nothing will change. You cannot change the government.
STOUT: They are leaving as the city is in the midst of a fifth wave and quickly running out of hospital beds. New isolation facilities are being
built to house the thousands of positive cases. Hong Kong`s rule that all positive cases must quarantine in a government facility like this has been
pushed to the limit by the rapidly spreading omicron variant.
Many in Hong Kong are questioning why they`ve had to live through such harsh restrictions just for things to end like this, like Allen who`s been
running this gym for six years. If the city doesn`t open up soon, he says his business will be dead within weeks.
ALLEN, GYM OWNER: I feel -- I feel lonely and sad when every time I come to this gym without seeing the people here. And I look at the ground
everything just left on the ground, I just miss the old times.
STOUT: Hong Kong`s chief executive Carrie Lam finally seems to be acknowledging the damage her China-led COVID policy has done to the economy
and the people. On Monday, she announced the city will ease some restrictions.
While the leadership hopes these changes will bring back the city`s vital force, its tough zero COVID policy and the diminished political freedoms
are throwing doubts on whether they can turn back the tide -- at least to them, it comes all too little too late.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
AZUZ: A large and dangerous storm system is raking its way across the American south. A meteorologist with the National Weather Service says it`s
expected to weaken as it moves toward Georgia and North Carolina, but it`s already left behind a considerable amount of damage.
At least 20 tornadoes were reported across Texas and Oklahoma on Tuesday. Dozens of houses were destroyed, tens of thousands of homes and businesses
lost power. The twisters are only part of the story, strong, straight-line winds, flooding, large sized hail, all of this is possible according to the
National Weather Service.
But it`s a tornado that`s been blamed for the death of one woman in Texas and widespread destruction in southern parts of the state.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Technically, a tornado is just a violent rotating column of air coming out of the bottom of a thunderstorm. But it
takes a lot to get that violently rotating column to come out.
SUBTITLE: CNN Explains: Tornadoes.
MYERS: All you need for a tornado really to form though are thunderstorms and a jet stream. That jet stream`s aloft. It makes the energy. If you have
moisture at the surface, dry air, cold air pushing that moisture up, you can get a tornado to form in any state.
Those days where all the ingredients combined, you get the humidity, you get the dry air, you get the jet stream, you get upper energy in the jet
stream. You get winds turning as you go aloft, the higher you go the winds actually change direction. That can cause storms -- those things all cause
storms to exist and get big. Those are the ingredients that cause a big tornado day.
So now the EF scale, Enhanced Fujita scale, starts at zero, goes only to five, and anything above 200 miles per hour is considered an EF 5 tornado.
If you have a zero, you`re going to lose shingles. A one you may lose a couple of boards on the roof. A two, you`ll lose all the windows and maybe
even a wall. A three, EF 3,you will lose a couple of walls on the outside but there will still be a part of the home standing.
And a four, most of the home is gone but you`ll still see the refrigerator, you`ll still see a closet and you`ll still see the bathroom. An EF 5, you
cannot find the house. It`s completely gone.
We don`t know how big that Fujita scale will be, how big that tornado will be, literally until after we look at the damage. We have this -- this
almost this triangulation that no other country in the world no region in the world has. We have the Rocky Mountains to our west. We have the Gulf of
Mexico in our south. We have Canada and very cold air masses coming down from the north.
All of those things combined make tornado out, typically the plains, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, all the way to Chicago, as far south as the
Southeast, including Georgia and Alabama, that`s basically the new or the bigger tornado alley.
The greatest threat of a tornado is being hit by something that the tornado is moving. If you`re outside or if you`re not protected inside, if you get
hit by a 140-mile-per-hour 2x4, you`re going to be killed. So you need to be inside on the lowest level somewhere in the middle of the home away from
When you hear the word "warning" and you hear your county, that`s when you need to take cover. When you hear the word "watch", that means something
might happen today, let`s have a plan. When you hear the word "warning," it`s too late to make a plan. You need to already have the plan. Warning`s
the long word, it`s the bad one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
London`s new "Crossrail" train network is also known by what name?
Chunnel II, Jubilee Underground, The Victoria Line, or The Elizabeth Line?
Construction on the Elizabeth Line started in 2009 and continues to date.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: A massive engineering project, once the biggest in Europe is finally wrapping up and when it opens, it`s expected to dramatically reduce the
time it takes to get across the city of London. Crossrail is a $25 billion tube network that stretches for 62 miles. It`s a mix of new tunnels and old
ones, running east to west beneath one of the most densely developed cities on Earth.
It`s currently scheduled to open in a limited capacity this May and be fully operational next spring. The project is three years behind schedule
and took $5 billion more to build than originally estimated.
But Crossrail is expected to increase London`s train capacity by 10 percent. That might not sound like a ton but it`s the largest expansion of
the city`s transportation network in over 70 years.
There`s this pig in Connecticut named Hamlet. Yeah, he shares an enclosure with another pig named Mary and not with the black bear that recently tried
to get some bacon.
But Mary fought back. At one point, pinning the bear to the wall and Hamlet who`s said to be quite the scaredy pig, got in on the action two
rushing the bear and standing his ground until the intruder realized he`s not eating any pork today.
If there`s a problem, they`re all a snout curing it. The root of all fearlessness charging forward during it, they`re more fleet of foot than
pickle when they`re in a pickle nothing fickle about the way they bear up, under the trickle of trouble. They`re on the double if you try to purloin
some ham hocks, ain`t no rift to spare wind in that pan up pork loin, so if you`re making plants for taking bacon when on the lamb, they might just
flourish might get Boris (ph) proving they`re not just ham. I kind of am though.
I`m Carl Azuz.
Raytown South High School in Raytown, Missouri, gets today`s shout-out, and anyone who wants to mention on our show should leave a comment in our