Handling 2 typhoons in a week ‘isn’t an easy job’: Wong

2021-10-14 03:16     BY Prisca Tang    Comment:0

Within less than a week, Macau went through two Signal No. 8 typhoons, “Lionrock” and “Kompasu”, and Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak admitted yesterday that handling the two storms proved complicated and “wasn’t an easy job”, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the city.

Signal No. 8 was hoisted for “Lionrock” on Saturday and for “Kompasu” on Tuesday.

Apart from minor incidents, both typhoons spared Macau.

Wong made the remarks during an announcement wrapping up the work the Civil Protection Operations Centre did during Typhoon Kompasu.

Wong thanked different entities from the centre and frontline workers for their hard work and contributions as well as residents’ cooperation.

A statement issued by the centre said since the recent COVID-19 cases has officially been in a “state of immediate prevention”. The statement pointed out that soon after the Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) hoisted Signal No.8 at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng declared the “state of immediate prevention”. However, the statement pointed out that while “state of immediate prevention” for the typhoon was taken down at 5:30 p.m. yesterday the “state of immediate prevention” concerning the COVID-19 pandemic remains in force.

After the “state of immediate prevention” for the typhoon had been declared, Ho visited the centre in Pac On and listened to officials’ briefings on their plans to tackle Severe Tropical Cyclone “Kompasu”. The statement pointed out Ho reminded all entities that are part of the Civil Protection Operations Centre that they should pay close attention to the weather conditions that would likely cause flooding in low-lying areas, adding that they might need to help residents in the affected neighbourhoods.

The statement noted that when “Kompasu” was edging closer to Macau, the Civil Protection Operations Centre closed the three bridges connecting Taipa and Macau as well as the Lotus Flower Bridge on Tuesday night.

At 5:30 p.m., after the local observatory had replaced Typhoon Signal No. 8 with Strong Wind Signal No. 3, the four bridges were all reopened. Moreover, the statement pointed out, on Tuesday at 11:30 p.m. the Sai Van Bridge’s enclosed lower deck was opened to private vehicles and vehicles with special permission. The deck was closed at 5:45 p.m. yesterday.

The Hengqin border checkpoint was closed on Tuesday night and reopened yesterday at 5:30 p.m.

For this week’s second typhoon, Signal No. 8 was hoisted for 19 hours.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) said that the government’s four emergency shelters, in Ilha Verde, Taipa, Coloane and the Macau Federation of Trade Unions Workers Stadium near the Barrier Gate checkpoint, had a total of 20 users between them. Meanwhile, the Ilha Verde Shelter, which is being used as a COVID-19 shelter, remained open and served 452 users during the Signal No. 8 period.

According to the statement, amidst Typhoon Signal No.8, the centre received six enquiries about the traffic and typhoon updates. The statement said that the centre also received nine accident reports such as about fallen windows and other objects, a fallen tree and a flooded rooftop.

Moreover, referring to a private vehicle that was driven onto Hac Sa Beach where it became trapped, Wong stressed that when Signal No. 8 is hoisted, people should stay in safe areas and be aware of personal safety in order to avoid unnecessary risks for frontline workers.

A Public Security Police (PSP) statement said yesterday that a 38-year-old male Hong Kong resident, surnamed To, claimed that he drove on the beach “by accident”. The statement pointed out that as To drove in a restricted zone, the police have decided to fine him and tow his car from the beach.

This undated handout photo released by the Civil Protection Operations Centre yesterday shows Macau Customs Service officers inspecting the Inner Harbour area’s flood situation during Typhoon ‘Kompasu’.

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak addresses the media during a post-typhoon briefing at the Civil Protection Operations Centre in Pac On yesterday evening. Photo: Civil Protection Operations Centre

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