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Govt to spend 43 million patacas on new disaster relief equipment: police chief

Unitary Police Service (SPU) Commissioner-General Ma Io Kun said Tuesday that the Public Security Forces will spend 43.3 million patacas on buying new disaster relief equipment this year.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

Unitary Police Service (SPU) Commissioner-General Ma Io Kun said Tuesday that the Public Security Forces will spend 43.3 million patacas on buying new disaster relief equipment this year.

Ma made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the government’s civil protection structure – which consists of 29 government entities and private organisations – at the Immigration Department Building in Pac On in Taipa, where the government’s Civil Protection Operations Centre is located.

Delivering a speech during the meeting, Ma noted that the government has been carrying out a raft of tasks and measures with the aim of improving the city’s civil protection since deadly Super Typhoon Hato devastated the city in 2017, such as formulating an evacuation plan for storm surges, the setting-up of various emergency shelters and emergency assembly and pick-up points across the city, and the setting-up of a broadcasting and alarm system for residents in the city’s low-lying areas.

The official evacuation plan formulated last year is for residents and business owners in the city’s low-lying areas to evacuate to shelters designated by the government when a storm surge hits Macau. The government has set up 17 emergency shelters and four emergency assembly and pick-up points, whose operations are coordinated by the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS). The four points are for the elderly, infirm and disabled to assemble during an evacuation before they are picked up and transported by the government to emergency shelters.

The broadcasting and alarm system set up last year – with various speakers installed in various locations in the city’s low-lying area – will alert residents in such areas to a possible approaching storm surge.

According to Ma, the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) predicts that there will be four to six tropical cyclones affecting Macau this year. He said that with the increasing impact caused by global warming, Macau will be more likely to encounter extreme weather situations, pledging that the various entities under the civil protection structure will continue to ensure that their measures in preparation for typhoons are always well underway, based on the experience obtained from their work in responding to last year’s Super Typhoon Mangkhut, with the aim of minimising the potential damage caused by natural disasters.

Ma also noted that a typhoon drill named “Crystal Fish” will be held on April 27. He said that based on the experience of last year’s typhoon drill – also named “Crystal Fish” – and feedback from members of the public, the government will expand the areas in the city covered by this year’s drill, adding that residents can apply to participate in the drill. Last year’s official typhoon drill was the first time that it was conducted as a large-scale undertaking involving various government entities and community associations. About 1,700 Public Security Forces officers and other government officials, along with 80 residents organised by a number of community associations, participated in last year’s “Crystal Fish” drill.

According to Ma, residents wishing to participate in the upcoming drill can register until April 22, with 450 places available. Community associations will continue to participate in this year’s typhoon drill, according to Ma.

Ma said that based on the experience of last year’s Super Typhoon Mangkhut, the Public Security Police (PSP), Judiciary Police (PJ), Fire Services Bureau (CB) and Macau Customs Service have decided to buy additional disaster relief equipment for their entities, which will cost 43.3 million patacas. Combined with the new disaster relief equipment bought by the Public Security Forces in July last year costing over 70 million patacas in the wake of Super Typhoon Hato, the security forces will spend some 120 million patacas on the purchase of new disaster relief equipment.(Macaunews)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

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