Macau sifts through destruction left in Hato's wake

26 August, 2017, 01:16 | Author: Ora Austin
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Hato struck an Asian casino hub, and was the strongest storm to hit the region in more than 50 years.

Hato has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, and is about 680 km west of Hong Kong.

Around 48 hours after Severe Typhoon Hato smashed into southern China, worst-hit Macau was still picking up the pieces, with the enclave's government facing recriminations over its lack of preparation. There was severe flooding on the streets, with some cars nearly completely submerged in the floods, and the water supply were affected in some districts.

The Macau government said two bodies were found in a flooded carpark early yesterday, but details on the remaining victims were not immediately available. People were evacuated from the Chinese cost before the storm arrived, while boats were brought back to harbour.

Amid mounting outrage at the government's handling of the storm, including the perceived failure to adequately warn residents as it approached, Macau leader Fernando Chui apologised and said the local observatory's head would step down. Furthermore, the majority of residential property insurance are fire only policies, which fail to cover flood and water damage. Almost two million households were briefly without power.

But Dr Chung Kim-wah, a political scientist at Polytechnic University, said: "If the same happened in Hong Kong, it would be unbelievable".

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Macau has been rapidly transformed from a sleepy fishing village over a decade ago into a major gambling hub, but infrastructure has mostly failed to keep pace with its development.

In the Face of the magnitude of the damage, the government of Macao has sent out a request to the central authorities, requesting the assistance of the garrison of Macao of the people's liberation Army (PLA).

PS: Want to help out people actually affected by the typhoon?

Macau public broadcaster, TDM, reported that some 1,000 Chinese PLA troops left their Macau barracks to assist in the recovery.

Chinese University political scientist Dr Ma Ngok also questioned the urgency for Macau to call for help from the PLA.


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