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Typhoon Mangkhut

Hong Kong schools to stay closed another day due to Typhoon Mangkhut damage, with rush on to clear main roads

Officials say clearance and repair work after intense storm to take time, noting more than 500 locations in city reported to have fallen trees or other obstacles

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2018, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2018, 9:09pm

Classes at all Hong Kong kindergartens, primary and secondary schools will remain suspended for another day due to extensive storm damage from Typhoon Mangkhut, officials announced on Monday, with main roads being targeted for clearance by Tuesday.

“Some schools will require time to clean up and repair their premises and facilities,” the Education Bureau said in a statement. “In addition, public transport services have yet to be fully resumed.”

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However, it noted arrangements should be made for staff members to mind pupils with a genuine need to stay in a safe place within school premises, such as those whose parents lack childcare.

Meanwhile, Mable Chan, Commissioner for Transport, said authorities aimed to get the city’s most travelled roads cleared by Tuesday morning.

“Our current goal is to get the clearing-up work done in most main routes by 5am,” she said.

But Chan noted more time would be needed for some routes in the North District and Sai Kung in the New Territories, as well as some smaller roads in the city.

“We hope to get the clearing work done in the next one to two days.”

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More than 500 locations in the city were reported to have fallen trees or other obstacles, she said, in addition to some 600 roads blocked by trees.

On Monday morning, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung voiced uncertainty over whether classes would resume by Tuesday.

 

“It’s still too early to say as we still don’t really have a grasp of the entire situation,” he said. “But of course we’ll take into consideration the transport situation overall and the schools’ own circumstances before reaching a decision.”

The Federation of Education Workers, a teachers union, had urged the government to extend class suspensions into Tuesday as more than 40 schools had reported to the union heavy damage to campuses. This ranged from fallen trees and basketball hoops to auditorium floors being blown apart.

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It also called on officials to provide relief funds for cleaning up and repairing damage as well as allowing flexible working arrangements for teachers unable to get to work.

Yeung noted financial help would be provided to subsidised and government schools that required repairs due to the typhoon.