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Typhoon Mangkhut

It took a typhoon to show how united Hong Kong stands, but offices could have avoided the transport chaos

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2018, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2018, 9:00pm

The morning after a super typhoon batters our city, our amazing street cleaners are in place sweeping up tonnes of debris. Overnight, the sound of chainsaws could be heard, as the fire service immediately started clearing away fallen trees. By Wednesday, it will be like nothing happened!

There has been too much focus on the division of Hong Kong. It has taken a super typhoon to show us how united we stand.

Mark Peaker, The Peak

Consider break from office until city returns to normal

The Hong Kong Observatory replaced the storm signal No 8 with the strong wind signal No 3 at 5.20am on September 17, as Typhoon Mangkhut departed from the city. As a result, most people in Hong Kong had to go to work, even though the city may need more time to heal from the extensive damage caused by the storm. Due to the heavy damage on the overhead lines – the MTR could only offer limited services for the East Rail and Light Rail lines – it was difficult for many people living in the New Territories to commute to work.

Both the Education Bureau and a number of University Grants Committee-funded universities decided to suspend classes and activities to ensure the safety of teachers and students. Shouldn’t the government also consider suspending all commercial activities for the city, considering the aftermath of such an extreme weather event?

Typhoon Mangkhut as it happened

The Hong Kong Observatory can only issue warning signals based on the weather; it cannot take into account the needs of the community to recover from the extreme weather. The Hong Kong government should be given the statutory authority to suspend all commercial activities, in case more time is needed for the city to resume normal operations after extreme weather or other unusual events.

Simon Wang, Kowloon Tong

Illegal structures a serious life threat during typhoons

The New Territories is littered with fallen trees and torn-off illegal structures. Some of these comprise a whole floor of a building, particularly village houses, torn off a roof top and carried along in the wind. How can Hong Kong call itself a world city when it permits the building of these unsafe structures? This is third-world stuff, except it’s not for the needy but rather for greedy people intent on increasing the area of their properties.

I recall talking a few years back to a contractor who was doing a nice business putting up illegal structures on village houses – I raised the safety question but was assured it would never be a problem. Really?

The government should stop this pussy-footing around the issue of illegal structures and make an all-out effort to get them removed before the next No 10 and someone gets killed.

And yes, call me an optimist but how about the Heung Yee Kuk actually recognising that the building of illegal structures is a huge safety hazard and not just a moneymaking exercise, but maybe I’m being a bit overly optimistic here.

Bob Rogers, Hong Kong