Government departments gearing up for precautionary measures against Typhoon Megi (with video)

     Government departments are gearing up in these few days for precautionary and coordination work with the emergency response system activated to prepare for the approaching of severe Typhoon Megi.

     Acting Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, said at a press conference today (October 21): "It will bring great impact on Hong Kong if severe typhoon Megi hits Hong Kong direct. However, the real effect to Hong Kong is uncertain as the path of the typhoon is hard to predict. Government departments, nonetheless, have taken precautionary measures."

     He said: "The Security Bureau has activated the Emergency Response System. Manpower will be deployed flexibly whenever necessary. Meetings have been conducted to strengthen coordination among various departments."

     Senior Scientific Officer of Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Chan Chik-cheung, said that Megi was the strongest tropical cyclone of the year. After it has entered the South China Sea, the maximum winds near the centre still reached 175 km/hour. He appealed to the public to remain vigilant. Hong Kong Observatory would closely monitor the typhoon and provide timely information.

     Deputy Director of Fire Services, Mr Chan Chor-kam, said that the Fire Services Department (FSD) was fully prepared to mobilise sufficient manpower in accordance with emergency command mechanism to cope with emergencies. He said back-up reinforcement was ready to ensure adequate support for the frontline rescue services will be provided. FSD had patrolled flood-prone areas and deployed equipment to tackle the problem.

     Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr David Leung, said that the Emergency Co-ordination Centres in all 18 districts had been activated. A temporary shelter has already been opened at Tai O. Temporary shelters in other districts were ready to be opened for use when local residents had the need.

     Deputy Director of Drainage Services, Mr Ko Wing-hon, pointed out that they had inspected some locations which were easily flooded and relevant measures were taken to ensure normal functioning of the drainage system. If members of the public discover flooding situation, they could call the hotline at 2300 1110.

     Head of Tree Management Office of Development Bureau, Mr Lawrence Chau, said the Office had visited various districts to carry out maintenance works like pruning and setting up fences. The office's website had issued a reminder to owners of private properties to make sure the trees there were in good condition.

     Mr Lai also urged the public to take relevant preventive measures. They should avoid going out when wind gets strong, avoid getting close to slopes and the seaside. They should pay attention to the drainage system to prevent flooding.

Ends/Thursday, October 21, 2010
Issued at HKT 23:17