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Preparation for extreme rainfall recommended by Slope Safety Technical Review Board
     The Slope Safety Technical Review Board concluded its five-day meeting in Hong Kong today (November 25). It suggested the Government be prepared to combat landslides caused by extreme rainfall and, in particular, enhance public awareness of and preparedness for landslide hazards.
     At the meetings, the Board reviewed a wide range of work undertaken by the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department, including natural terrain risk management, and formulation of emergency measures for landslides triggered by extreme rainfall and a long-term strategy for rock cavern and underground space development. During its visit to Hong Kong, the Board also exchanged views with representatives of learned geotechnical and geological societies in Hong Kong.
     The Board said that the GEO has maintained its leading world position in the management of slope risk. Over these years, it has been a pioneer in landslide risk assessment, and slope engineering and management. The Board agreed that the GEO had made good progress in the management of slope safety this year. It was also impressed with the GEO's commitment to reducing landslide impacts, creating a green environment and promoting public engagement.
     In addition, the Board considered that reducing landslide risk is challenging in Hong Kong because it is a landslide-prone region. It recommended that the GEO sustains its efforts in landslide prevention and mitigation, emergency preparedness and risk management, continue to prepare for extreme rainfall and strengthen public education to promote slope safety and awareness of landslide risk.  
     The Board helps benchmark the work of the GEO with international best practice, and provides professional insights and recommendations. Agreeing with the views of the Board, the Head of the GEO, Mr Wong Hok-ning, said, "While the landslide risk in Hong Kong has significantly reduced in the past 20 years, we must stay vigilant amid the increasing challenge of extreme rainfall events, which could become more frequent and severe due to climate change." 

     The Slope Safety Technical Review Board was established by the Government in 1995 to review the Government's work in slope safety management and advise on the technical aspects of the slope safety system, covering landslip risk assessment and management, technical research and development on slope safety, emergency preparedness and the Landslip Warning System.

     Members of the current board are the Technical Director of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Dr Suzanne Lacasse; the Emeritus Professor of Engineering Geology at the University of British Columbia in Canada, Professor Oldrich Hungr; and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, Professor David Petley.
Ends/Friday, November 25, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:28
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