Original Article: South China Morning Post
Hong Kong will introduce a new storm defence system to fend off extreme weather after Typhoon Mangkhut wreaked havoc around the city last year.
A new wave warning system and floating breakwaters will be tested in the coming storm season – starting in May – in areas susceptible to flooding and high waves, the Drainage Services Department said on Thursday.
“Climate change has gained recognition in international society,” department director Kelvin Lo Kwok-wah told reporters.
“Adverse weather may come more often and in more strength.”
The department identified three coastal spots most exposed to high waves, including southern Tseung Kwan O, Heng Fa Chuen on the east of Hong Kong Island, and South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau.
The three places – dubbed “overtopping wave spots” – suffered severe damage during Mangkhut, which hit in September 2018. In Heng Fa Chuen, for example, the strong typhoon damaged lifts, ripped out windows, and led to the loss of fresh water supplies.
The most intense storm in Hong Kong’s recorded history, Mangkhut caused a record storm surge and uprooted tens of thousands of trees.
Another seven coastal locations that flood badly during typhoons were also identified. These so-called storm surge spots are all below sea level, including places such as Lei Yue Mun, Tai O and Nam Wai in Sai Kung.