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27 July 2012


David Eldon

There is always room for improvement in many things, typhoon signaling included, although if I recall correctly it does get reviewed from time to time. However I am not so sure about the practicality of a system that releases people by age, gender etc. In theory, sure, but then in today's SCMP there are stories of employers not allowing their staff to leave at all. As for pressure on the systems, naturally there will be pressure on occasions like this, but how often does it happen? Perhaps if employers start to release people early - maybe let them work from home if it is practical - it might take off some of that pressure.
Thank you for your thoughts.

Julian Hayes

Yes, let's not pile unfair criticism on the Observatory.

However, there's plenty of room for improvement in the typhoon warning and evacuation system.

The sea-based 1,3,8,9,10 system is a simple measure of wind speed and proximity, taking no account of the size of the storm or its direction. We've had No. 8 storms where it hadly rained or blew, and No. 3 storms that flooded Admiralty. We need an updated, more accurate warning system.

Evacuations cause massive overcrowding on public transport systems because the entire population leaves their workplaces at the same exact moment. Serious consideration should be given to phased evacuations by age, family status, essential services or industry, or some other sensibke basis.

Taxi fares should automatically triple, or be allowed to impose a $50 or $100 surcharge, at No. 8 and above, rather than subject the entire HK population to privately negotiated extortion in the midst of a typhoon.

By all means, let's not demonize the Observatory. At the same time, let's not adopt the view that the current system is perfectly fine and cannot be improved upon, a view that seems to have become the defaut position in modern HK when assessing the performance of public bodies.

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