China - Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region)

SDEV inspects DSD measures in response to typhoon threat

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The Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, today (August 1) inspected the underground stormwater storage tank and related facilities at the Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme of the Drainage Services Department (DSD) to learn more about the flood prevention measures undertaken by the department in response to the threat of Typhoon Nida to Hong Kong.

Mr Chan received a report from the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Edwin Tong, on the progress of the Scheme. The DSD commenced the Scheme in September 2012 to alleviate the flood risk in the Happy Valley and Wan Chai areas. The project is divided into two phases. Phase 1 of the underground stormwater storage tank has been in operation since March 2015. Phase 2 is under way and is expected to be completed before the rainy season in 2017.

Mr Chan learnt that to get prepared for Typhoon Nida and the high tides, the DSD has deployed staff to areas susceptible to storm surges, including Tai O, Praya Road in Lei Yue Mun, Kar Wo Lei in Tuen Mun and other coastal low-lying areas, to implement precautionary measures to reduce the risk of flooding. The DSD will implement emergency flood relief measures at relevant locations immediately once storm surge alerts are issued by the Hong Kong Observatory. Furthermore, it will activate the Emergency Calls Centre when Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 is in force or under inclement weather to strengthen its manpower in handling flooding reports. Contractors will stand by in flood-prone areas to handle flooding incidents in a timely manner.

Mr Chan said that heavy rainfall may also cause landslides. In light of this risk, the Geotechnical Engineering Office under the Civil Engineering and Development Department has reminded the maintenance departments and owners of private slopes to adopt precautionary measures and complete the necessary inspection and maintenance works before the onset of the wet season. The Office will also activate the Emergency Control Centre to handle landslide incidents when Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 is hoisted.

Regarding tree management, Mr Chan said that the relevant departments completed the tree risk assessment in accordance with the Guidelines for Tree Risk Assessment and Management Arrangement before the onset of the wet season. Once the inclement weather is over, the departments will inspect the affected trees again and undertake timely mitigation measures to ensure public safety.

Mr Chan understands that colleagues from various departments will work hard when typhoon signals are in force and under adverse weather. He reminded site personnel to complete precautionary measures immediately to minimise the typhoon's impacts on the public.

He urged members of the public to stay alert to the changing weather conditions. They are advised to report any flooding that comes to their notice to the DSD by calling its 24-hour drainage hotline at 2300 1110. They should also stay away from slopes during heavy rainfall. In the event of a landslide or tree failure, they should call the Police immediately. They can also report problematic trees to the Government Call Centre at 1823.

Ends/Monday, August 1, 2016

Issued at HKT 19:41