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Typhoon Mangkhut

Why another Hong Kong typhoon is mostly same old, same old for seaside Heng Fa Chuen

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 12:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 1:55am

As global warming gets more intense, we are only going to get more and worse monster storms mauling Hong Kong (“Typhoon Mangkhut officially Hong Kong’s most intense storm since records began”, September 17).

There was worse flooding in Heng Fa Chuen than during Typhoon Hato in August last year. The main artery, Shing Tai Road, was thigh-deep in storm water and the shopping centre was a mud bath, not to mention the underground car park, flooded yet again.

The cause of the flooding was simply that the onslaught of the windswept waves, helped up-slope by the shape of the sea wall, far outstripped the capacity of the drainage system, perhaps by a hundred times or more.

Wind force was fortunately correctly predicted by the architects, so that the windows and balcony doors largely remained intact, although storm water managed to squish through between the gaps created in the sliding doors by the ferocious winds.

But power supply failed for more than 16 hours and with it went the drinking and flushing water supplies, and of course the lift service – leaving elderly people stranded aloft.

Watch: Typhoon Mangkhut hits Heng Fa Chuen

One way of preventing a recurrence of such devastation could be to turn ourselves into another Netherlands where, storm surge or not, the waves never climb over the barriers. Less of an upheaval would be to lay a line of outboard wave-breakers to collapse the wind-fetched waves before they reach the sea wall.

Peter Lok, Heng Fa Chuen

Taping windows is a Hong Kong tradition, there must be a logic

I refer to the article “Typhoon Mangkhut: Hong Kong shops run out of masking tape” (September 14). The article asked whether there was any point in using adhesive tape on windows as a safety measure, as the Hong Kong Observatory advises us to do to reduce damage to window panes and avoid injury, while the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls it a waste of time and tape.

It is definitely best to take whatever precautions we can before a super typhoon strikes. Taping windows can help prevent the glass from breaking, and also stop shards from flying into the air and causing injury.

Taping windows ahead of a typhoon has been a Hong Kong ritual for decades. So there must be some wisdom to it; it can’t be entirely useless. As for those who bought excessive amounts of masking tape, leaving others unable to get their hands on even a single roll – they were just being selfish.

Jesse Lin, Tsuen Wan