Two people were killed in Hong Kong on Saturday when their hut was crushed in a landslide triggered by the some of the worst rain here since records began, a report said.

The landslide sent a 20-tonne wall crashing onto the hut that the pair, a man and a woman, were sleeping in, local broadcaster RTHK reported on its web site.

Emergency workers used cranes to lift the wall and dug a tunnel to reach the pair, but they were dead by the time rescuers reached them, it said.

Authorities in the southern Chinese territory warned people to beware of further landslides and opened emergency shelters for people in need of accomodation.

The Hong Kong Observatory said more than 200 millimetres (eight inches) of rain was dumped overnight on the city, which experienced winds of up to 70 kilometres (43 miles) an hour.

Between 8:00 am and 9:00 am alone it recorded 145.5 millimetres, the highest hourly rainfall since records began.

RTHK said accidents caused by the rain injured 16 people, two of whom were still in hospital.

The city's schools and courts were shut and the downpour caused severe flooding across some streets of Hong Kong island, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Water was almost up to the windows of parked cars as people rolled up their trousers and waded through knee-deep floods.

People tried to continue their journey on foot as water flowed over pavements in the heavily hit western district of Sheung Wan.

Hong Kong is regularly hit by severe rain and even typhoons during the summer months, but residents said Saturday's downpour was particularly severe.

"This is the heaviest rain I have seen in years," said office worker Edmund Kwan.

Shopkeepers stacked sandbags in an effort to keep the water out. Streets in the city's Wan Chai business district were also under heavy water.

The rain caused several delays at Hong Kong's International Airport on Lantau Island, one of the worst-hit spots in the territory, an Airport Authority spokeswoman told AFP.

The main road to the airport was closed because of flooding, RTHK said.