Landslide prevention impresses

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 April, 2006, 12:00am

Officials from North Vancouver have said they are impressed by Hong Kong's slope-safety measures after a visit sparked by the landslide death of a Hong Kong migrant in the Canadian city last year.

Mayor Richard Walton said the visit had underlined the importance of a quick release of information about landslides and the risk of landslides.

'It's assuring for us to know the importance of giving people information,' he said, after inspecting slopes on Ka Wai Man Road in Kennedy Town.

The five-person delegation also visited the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering and Development Department to see how Hong Kong stabilises slopes and promotes awareness of slope safety.

James Ridge, North Vancouver's chief administrative officer, said he would take home a message about the importance of public education. 'We were impressed by a lot of the education programmes [in Hong Kong],' Mr Ridge said.

The trip came a year after the death of Hong Kong migrant Elisa Chu in a rare landslide in North Vancouver that also seriously injured her husband. Ironically, Ms Chu survived the catastrophic Kotewall Road landslide on June 18, 1972, when she was 11. Since last year's landslide, North Vancouver - home to 500,000 ethnic Chinese - has spent $6 million on research into the problem.

Under Hong Kong's landslide prevention programme, the Civil Engineering and Development Department aims to stabilise 250 slopes a year.