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Follow-up actions on Tai O taken by Islands District Office after Typhoon Hato
     In response to media enquiries today (September 1), a spokesman for the Islands District Office (IDO) said that the IDO had closely monitored the threat of flooding posed to Tai O by Typhoon Hato, and had activated the emergency response mechanism with relevant departments in Tai O the night (August 22) before the typhoon.

     Regarding the request for provision of emergency relief funds to those affected by natural disasters, the spokesman for the IDO explained that under the established mechanism, District Offices will take into account the nature and circumstances of individual cases in assessing the financial hardship of people affected, and provide commensurate emergency relief from the General Chinese Charities Fund for people in need. Whether the applicant has obtained assistance from another source of aid would be one of the considerations.

     After the typhoon, the IDO immediately liaised with the Tai O Rural Committee on the financial difficulties faced by the residents, and noted that the Board of Yan Chai Hospital was very concerned about residents in Tai O, and had at the first instance agreed in principle to provide emergency assistance to families in need. The Tai O Rural Committee also arranged home visits to residents affected in Tai O through the Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association and the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council.

     The IDO and the Tai O Rural Committee jointly issued a notice to Tai O residents today stating that the Board of Yan Chai Hospital had agreed to offer emergency assistance of $2,000 or a new refrigerator to each elderly (aged 65 above) singleton or doubleton household. As for people affected who are aged 65 or below, the Tai O Heritage Hotel will offer emergency assistance of $2,000 to each household and each shop operator. Residents affected by the flood in Tai O may register at the Tai O Town Hall from next Monday to Wednesday (September 4 to 6). Furthermore, staff from the IDO and the Squatter Control/Islands Office will also be stationed at the Tai O Town Hall during the same period to explain details and application procedures of the Emergency Relief Fund to residents affected by the flood.  

     Apart from emergency assistance, the IDO has been closely working with relevant government departments on the post-typhoon follow-up actions in Tai O. To speed up the clearance of the large quantity of refuse and damaged electrical appliances and waste furniture, the IDO and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, with assistance from the Highways Department, arranged several lorry cranes and village vehicles to facilitate the clearance work. During the peak clearance period (August 27 to 30), a total of nearly 160 tonnes of refuse was cleared over the four days. On August 27, over 60 tonnes of refuse were cleared in one day (compared to around 6.5 tonnes of refuse cleared daily in Tai O on a normal day). After the large-scale clearance operation which took place continuously over a few days, the amount of refuse being removed from Tai O has significantly dropped since August 31, gradually returning to the normal level.

     "We will continue to keep in view the effects on Tai O brought by the typhoon, and will render assistance as appropriate," the spokesperson said.
Ends/Friday, September 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:03
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