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PLA garrison aids relief after typhoon hits Macao

Lin Wenjie
Updated: Aug 26,2017 9:41 AM     China Daily

About 1,000 troops from the People’s Liberation Army Garrison in Macao were mobilized on Aug 25 to support disaster relief efforts after typhoon Hato struck the Macao Special Administrative Region. This marks the first time the PLA garrison in Macao was deployed on a local mission.

The mobilization came at the request of the Macao SAR government and was approved by the central government in accordance with the Basic Law of the Macao SAR and the Garrison Law of the Macao SAR.

“We give our full support to the SAR government in protecting the lives and properties of Macao people, in a bid to restore normality as soon as possible,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the PLA Garrison in Macao Gao Zhijun said on Aug 25.

The PLA Garrison in Macao said it will make concerted efforts with the SAR government, central government agencies in Macao and Macao compatriots to help protect the lives and property of the Macao compatriots so they can resume their lives and business as soon as possible.

Streets in Macao were piled with smelly garbage after the typhoon flooded much of the city. Local residents fear the garbage will spread disease if it cannot be cleaned up promptly.

The Macao Government Tourism Office asked travel agencies to temporarily stop receiving group visitors until Aug 30 in order to free resources for post-disaster work, as electricity and water supplies had not fully recovered.

There were about 20 power stations still under repair, affecting 3,700 households. The maintenance was estimated to be finished in one to two days, said Ma Io-kun, Macao’s police chief and the operation commander of the disaster relief team of the Macao SAR government, during a news conference on the afternoon of Aug 25.

He said that water supplies had been restored in a majority of the affected areas, but due to low water pressure, higher areas remained without water, adding that the government will restore water supplies in those areas as soon as possible.

As of the evening of Aug 25, typhoon Hato — the strongest storm recorded in Macao for 53 years — left 10 people dead, more than 240 injured and cut power and water supplies to some areas when it struck the city, data from the Macao Government Information Bureau showed.

The Macao Foundation announced on Aug 24 that it will allocate 1.35 billion patacas ($168 million) to help Macao residents who were affected by the typhoon.

The foundation will provide 300,000 patacas to families who lost a loved one. It will provide medical funding up to 30,000 patacas to each injured person, with the requirement that recipients get registered before Aug 31. The foundation will also provide up to 30,000 patacas for each family whose home was damaged, with registration required before Sept 30. A 2,000-pataca allowance will be given to each household affected by the power outage.

Storm-related flooding severely affected the lives and work of the Macao public. The Macao government, with the support of the People’s Liberation Army Garrison in the SAR, has launched all-out efforts to coordinate resources and take measures to limit the effects of the typhoon and the losses resulting from it.