16th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) More than 2,300 people in Hong Kong have applied for emergency relief funds after the city was hit by two severe weather events in quick succession. Super Typhoon Saola struck the city just a week before it was battered by unprecedented rain last weekend, bringing major flooding and landslides that injured over 140 people.
The Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs, Alice Mak, revealed the number of applications for relief and promised to expedite the processing of claims. She said two families made homeless by the floods have been temporarily rehoused. Mak pledged the government will enhance its response to natural disasters going forward.
Authorities face pressure to review extreme weather plans after last week’s “once-in-500-years” downpour overwhelmed Hong Kong’s drainage. Residents in the worst-hit northern districts like North, Wong Tai Sin and Chai Wan have long protested the slow progress of flood mitigation projects. However, Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn argued unique factors impact each project’s timetable.
Whilst works can be slowed by underground relocations, Linn assured residents more projects are underway or planned across affected areas. A two-year study on managing increased flood risk from climate change will also help enhance the city’s resilience. This news comes as a relief to the over 2,300 households now receiving urgently needed assistance after suffering losses in the dual weather catastrophes.