These are indeed desperate times. Even white power has become a source of so much panic and commotion.

On Monday, police in hazmat suits entered the US Consulate General in Hong Kong after an envelope containing white powder sparked a security alert at the complex.

Visa appointments were immediately cancelled and members of the public queuing to enter were ordered to leave.

Uniformed police officers were also seen donning gas masks outside the building in the busy Central district of the southern Chinese financial hub.

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Four police vans and a bomb disposal truck were seen deployed at the sealed-off main entrance.

However, the consulate later said the powder was not found to be hazardous.

"We can confirm that an envelope containing white powder was opened inside the Consulate General today," a spokesperson for the US consulate said.

"The incident has now been resolved. Visa appointments for the rest of the day remain cancelled," the spokesperson added.

"As always, our highest priority is the safety of our personnel and visitors," he added.

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