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Inter-departmental drill on emergency response to flooding in Tai O (with photos)

     A number of government departments participated in a drill today (April 30) to enhance their preparedness in the event of serious flooding in Tai O, and to promote to the residents the Government Emergency Response Plan.

     The Islands District Office, the Fire Services Department (FSD), the Police, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), the Drainage Services Department (DSD), the Social Welfare Department, the Housing Department, the Civil Aid Service (CAS), the Tai O Rural Committee and the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council took part in the rescue drill.

     The drill aimed to allow representatives from government departments and district organisations to familiarise themselves with the response plan so that they will be able to act swiftly to evacuate residents and minimise the impacts caused by flooding when the HKO issues an early alert.

     The Government Emergency Response Plan consists of three parts, namely an early alert system, an evacuation and rescue plan and an emergency relief programme.

     The HKO will issue an early alert to relevant government departments/parties and village representatives/fishermen representatives by SMS when it forecasts the sea level of Tai O would increase to 3.3 mCD or more in the coming few hours during a tropical cyclone.

     Upon receipt of the early alert, relevant departments will mobilise their resources for a possible evacuation and rescue and relief efforts while village representatives/fishermen representatives will help disseminate the information so that residents can be well prepared for the flood and take refuge in safer locations.

     When the actual seawater level in Tai O reaches 3.0 mCD, the DSD will issue a real-time flood alert to relevant government departments/parties and village representatives/fishermen representatives concerned. The Police, the FSD, the CAS, social workers and village representatives/fishermen representatives will then urge residents in the low-lying areas to leave and help evacuate them, if required, to temporary shelters or safer locations.

     In order to alleviate the flooding risk in the low-lying areas of Tai O (in the area along Wing On Street) due to high tides under average meteorological conditions, the Civil Engineering Development Department has constructed a riverwall of about 220 metres in length and 3.446 mCD in height at Yat Chung, Tai O. The Government will closely monitor the situation and make contingency arrangements as necessary.

Ends/Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:31


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