“Nothing gives me more security than this train ticket taking me back to Shenzhen,” said a student from the City University of Hong Kong in an anonymous submission to Weibo, Chinese top social media platform. She said her roommate from Southwest China's Sichuan Province, who was not frightened by a major earthquake, was terrified by the violence on campus. "We started our evacuation at 5 am and arrived at the West Kowloon Railway Station one hour later to take the earliest rail back to Shenzhen, which was filled with mainland students,” the girl said.

This was a common scene on “Escape Day” for dozens of mainland students studying in Hong Kong. In an open letter to all resident students on Tuesday, the CityU clearly suggested now to be an "appropriate time" to “escape” to the mainland for a few days.

The most intense clash erupted at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), which was viewed by mobsters as the main battleground. “Depressing," Zhan Xiaohang, a doctoral student from the CUHK, described his evacuation home to People’s Daily.

“We were suddenly informed of the evacuation to Shenzhen at 5 pm on Tuesday,” said Zhan. On their way to their dorms to pick up their luggage, Zhan and his classmates were frightened to see some black-clad rioters carrying iron bars and bricks, as well as a tree that was newly cut down. "The only way out of the dormitory is right next to the No.2 Bridge, where the protesters threw objects onto Tolo Highway and an MTR track and had a fierce standoff with police. We quickly passed by facing the stares of the rioters."

An estimated sixty students from CUHK, according to Zhan, were successfully evacuated to Shenzhen after a long wait due to the terrible traffic paralyzed by rioters, who have trashed transportation facilities and obstructed roads.
The CUHK on Wednesday announced the end of term one of the 2019-2020 academic year due to safety concerns. All undergraduate and postgraduate classes on campus are canceled, according to reports from CGTN.

Another student from CUHK surnamed Wang told People’s Daily that she decided to leave after finding roads nearby were filled with bricks and boxes. "What was the most shocking to me was seeing super long rebar driven into the ground, which would definitely be fatal if a car had actually driven into it." Wang and her roommates finally settled down at the free accommodation provided by the Shenzhen Youth Community, which has helped over 80 mainland students studying in Hong Kong.

The Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government issued a statement on Wednesday urging all schools in Hong Kong to suspend classes Thursday for safety reasons.

"This is the first time ever that universities in Hong Kong have cancelled classes for such a long period of time since World War II. The rioters in universities have victimized the entire schools, as all the students have to face the consequences when the university ranking drops, and top scholars will leave Hong Kong for safety reasons,” Dr. Kee Wang Yuen of United International College told People’s Daily.

"From handing out leaflets to smashing, looting and setting fires everywhere, the mobs keep showcasing how unimaginably low their morality is,” Zhan said. “For all their talk of so-called ‘democracy’, they poured gasoline, sprayed corrosive liquids and stabbed people who hold different values from them. And they distorted the facts afterward, which is extremely ridiculous."

"In fact, the rioters could have expressed their demands in a peaceful and reasonable way. They chose violence to solve the problem but could not accept the consequences of such violence, and they accuse the police of enforcing the law too strictly, that is the funniest thing,” said Zhan’s fellow alumni Ren.

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