Govt to strengthen Tai O flood defences after Hato breach

The government is planning to strengthen flood control in Tai  O following complaints that a recently-installed embankment did not keep out storm surges.

The village was flooded by Typhoon Hato in August, despite the presence of a 220-metre long wall  built four years ago at cost of $150 million, prompting criticism from villagers and local leaders.

Drainage Services Department director Edwin Tong said last week the department would install a temporary flood-control flap that would increase the height of the embankment from 3.3 metres to 3.8 metres, Ming Pao reported.

He said a review showed that the embankment wasn’t high enough and that it had taken too long to move sandbags and install floodgates at Wing On and Tai Ping streets.

The temporary flap could be quickly erected as a typhoon approached, he said.

Typhoon Hato brought one of Hong Kong’s biggest ever storm surges, reaching a peak of 3.57 meters, second only to Typhoon Wanda in 1962, in which the water level reached 3.96 metres.

 

Photo (top): Government flood drill, Tai O, July 2017

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