Hong Kong government office receives white powder letters

A Hong Kong government office, two financial institutions, four media outlets and four other recipients received suspicious-looking letters on Tuesday that contained unidentified white powder.

The letters arrived on Tuesday in Hong Kong's Western and Wan Chai districts and prompted dozens of police to fan out across the city to respond to the letters. The response team included bomb-disposal agents, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Subsequent testing found the powder was corn flour, rather than anthrax or any other harmful biochemical substances.

Hong Kong experienced several similar incidents when disgruntled investors sent letters containing monosodium glutamate, corn flour and other substances to financial institutions like the city's monetary authority and the Bank of China. The letters were also sent to multiple news outlets.

The police are investigating whether Tuesday's incidents have any connection to a similar series of letters that were sent throughout the city in late 2013, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anthrax disease is caused by Bacillus anthracis bacteria. The CDC considers anthrax to be a category A bioterrorism agent, which means it can be easily disseminated from person to person, result in high mortality rates, cause public panic and social disruption and require special action for public health preparedness.