Typhoon Khanun spares Macau major damage

2017-10-16 08:05     Comment:0

The observatory kept the No. 8 storm warning signal hoisted for 11 hours yesterday but Severe Typhoon Khanun spared the city major damage, causing only minor flooding in some low-lying areas in the Inner Harbour area.

Local residents and tourists appeared to agree that rogue cabbies overcharging passengers were the most negative aspect of yesterday’s “typhoon day”.

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On personally oversaw his government’s civil protection measures to deal with the typhoon yesterday.

The government said that seven people were injured during the typhoon.

The Health Bureau (SSM) said last night that the seven injured, aged between 44 and 73, comprised three men and four women, six locals and one Hongkonger.

Six of the seven injured were discharged from the public Conde de Sao Januario Hospital Centre and private Kiang Wu Hospital after receiving treatment. The seventh injured person remained in Kiang Wu Hospital for treatment as of last night, the Health Bureau said.

The Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) hoisted the No. 1 stand-by signal at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, the No. 3 warning signal at 9 p.m. on Saturday and the No. 8 storm warning single at 10 a.m. yesterday. Unlike in the run-up to the August 23 catastrophe, when Super Typhoon Hato killed 10 people and caused huge damage and severe floods, the public this time was given timely warnings by the weather station to prepare for the approaching typhoon.

The weather bureau lowered the No. 8 signal to the No. 3 signal at 9 p.m. yesterday. All typhoon signals were cancelled at 0:30 a.m. today.

The government said that the Civil Protection Operations Centre (COPC) started operating at 8 a.m. yesterday, two hours before the hoisting of the No. 8 signal. The centre is located in the Immigration Department Building in Pac On in Taipa.

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On arrived at the Civil Protection Operations Centre shortly before 10 a.m. and held a meeting with senior officials to oversee the government’s typhoon response measures, the Chief Executive Office (GCE) said in a statement yesterday.

The statement also said that Chui had a total of three meetings with the officials in the centre yesterday.

Public bus transport and ferry links with Hong Kong and Shenzhen were suspended during the No. 8 signal.

The government said last night that 98 cases of taxi drivers overcharging passengers were recorded, while 20 cases of cabbies refusing to pick up passengers were also recorded. A total of nine cases of unlicensed taxis picking up passengers were reported yesterday.

Government-owned broadcaster TDM reported that a number of passengers – separately – paid 500 patacas for taxi trips while the No. 8 signal was up. Video clips which circulated yesterday on the Internet showed prospective passengers complaining that taxi drivers were demanding up to 1,500 patacas for a trip that usually would cost no more than 200 patacas.

Ferry services between Macau and Hong Kong were suspended when the Hong Kong Observatory hoisted the No. 8 signal at 8:40 a.m. yesterday. The warning signal was lowered to No. 3 at 7:20 p.m. in Hong Kong. The ferry services between the two cities resumed normal service after the No. 8 signal was lowered to the No. 3 signal at 9 p.m. in Macau.

Public bus services also recommenced gradually after the No. 8 signal was no longer hoisted.

The local airport said yesterday that a total of 90 flights were cancelled due to Typhoon Khanun.

After the hoisting of the No. 8 signal yesterday, the three Macau- Taipa bridges and the Lotus Flower Bridge connecting Cotai and
Hengqin Island were closed to traffic at 11:25 a.m., except for the lower enclosed deck of Sai Van Bridge. The four bridges were reopened to traffic after the No. 8 signal was replaced by the No. 3 signal last night.

The civil protection authorities yesterday reported 72 incidents caused by Typhoon Khanun, such as falling trees and overhead electricity cables, two fires, four cases of flooding as well as a number of shop signs damaged by the storm.

The bureau said that the typhoon
was the nearest to Macau at around
4 p.m. yesterday – about 200 kilometres
south of Macau.
The weather bureau said last
night that Typhoon Khanun was
forecast to move towards Leizhou
Peninsula, the southernmost part of
Guangdong province, near Hainan.
The weather bureau issued the
first level storm surge warning at 5
a.m. yesterday. According to the bureau’s
website, the bureau customarily
issues the first level warning – the
lowest level of storm surge warning,
also called the yellow warning – if
the flood level is forecast to reach up
to 0.5 metres above the road level in
the Inner Harbour area.
The yellow storm surge warning
was removed at 10:30 p.m.

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On (centre) presides over a meeting of the Civil Protection Operations Centre (COPC) in Pac On yesterday. Photo: GCS


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