Drains and rain blamed for slide

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2000, 12:00am

Blocked drains and a sudden thunderstorm may have caused Monday night's mudslide on a slope in Kowloon, officials said yesterday.

'Heavy rainfall caused a wash up behind a retaining wall and led to the collapse of it,' the Government's chief geo-technical engineer, Allan Watkins, said.

Five to 10 cubic metres of mud were washed down to the first floor of a three-storey building at the bottom of the slope.

No one was injured, although residents had to be evacuated.

The slope, in Prince Edward Road West, was listed in the landslide prevention programme and was upgraded several years ago.

The slope was not in immediate danger of further collapse. Emergency repairs were underway yesterday and are expected to be completed in two days.

Owners of the properties at the bottom of the slope said the Government, which shares ownership and maintenance responsibility of the slope with residents, had yet to discuss the repairs with them.

The chairman of the owners group, Ho Chak-lam, said: 'We had noticed some drains on the slope were blocked and felt that urgent repairs were needed. A consultancy has also been hired to look at the problem.

'But we can't start the work now as we can't simply repair the lower part of the slope while ignoring the upper part.' The upper part of the slope belongs to the Government while the lower part belongs to the owners.

Elsewhere, mud and debris came down from a slope in Shekkipmei and blocked two of three Kwun Tong-bound lanes of Lung Cheung Road outside Phoenix House at 9am yesterday.

The 20-metre-long section was closed for three hours while cleaners removed the debris.

Police said after inspection that no immediate danger was found.