Tai O shelter all but abandoned

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 May, 2006, 12:00am

The new $260 million typhoon shelter in Tai O on Lantau, criticised by locals as a white elephant, is all but empty as Typhoon Chanchu edges closer.

Only one sampan was anchored in the shelter last night, Tai O Cultural Workshop spokeswoman Wong Wai-king said. 'Of course, the boats are not coming back. It is just so far away,' she said.

The facility, which can shelter 220 boats, has been labelled a white elephant because the fishing industry is in decline and only a few boats have been anchoring there since construction was completed last September. It has also been called an 'environmental disaster' for destroying the village's heritage and natural scenery.