Government launches new landslip prevention and mitigation programme (with photos)The Government is determined to continue its rigorous efforts to minimise the risk of landslips in Hong Kong to ensure public safety, the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said today (April 30).
Mrs Lam was speaking at a ceremony to launch the new Landslip Prevention and Mitigation Programme (LPMitP) implemented by the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department.
The LPMitP will systematically deal with both man-made slopes and natural hillsides with known hazards that are close to existing buildings and important transport corridors. The programme is to dovetail with the Landslip Preventive Measures Programme (LPMP), due for completion this year, which has focused on studying and upgrading man-made slopes in the past 33 years.
Mrs Lam said that the Government's efforts in the past three decades had substantially improved slope safety and significantly reduced the number of landslide fatalities in recent years. With the completion of the LPMP, about 7,000 man-made slopes have been dealt with and the overall landslide risk from man-made slopes has been reduced by 75% from that of 1977.
"Building on the achievement of the LPMP, the new LPMitP will systematically deal with both man-made slopes and natural hillsides in order to contain the overall landslide risk at a low level. We estimate that the annual expenditure on this new programme will be at least $600 million.
"The fact that over 1,000 landslides happened on natural hillsides during the severe rainstorm in Hong Kong on June 7, 2008, shows that the inclusion of natural hillsides in the new LPMitP is a right and forward-looking decision," she said.
The LPMitP will be implemented on a rolling basis annually to upgrade 150 government man-made slopes; conduct safety-screening studies on 100 private man-made slopes; and implement studies and necessary risk mitigation works for 30 natural hillside catchments.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Head of the GEO, Mr Raymond Chan, called on the public to take precautionary measures to protect themselves during persistent heavy rainfall or when the landslip warning was in force.
"Despite the significant reduction of landslide risk by the LPMP, Hong Kong still faces the landslide hazard in the long term and we must always stay vigilant," Mr Chan said.
Also officiating at the launch ceremony were the Deputy Secretary (Works), Mr Enoch Lam, and the Director of Civil Engineering and Development, Mr John Chai.
To promote public awareness of the new LPMitP, the launching ceremony will be followed by a three-day exhibition from April 30 to May 2 (10am to 9pm) at Fantasy Island, Level 1, Maritime Square, Tsing Yi.
Further information about the LPMitP and slope safety is available at the following website: hkss.cedd.gov.hk.
Ends/Friday, April 30, 2010
Issued at HKT 18:28