Volunteers needed for Mangkhut clear-up

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Devastation at Trio Beach, New Territories – a community clean-up has been organised on October 13

Typhoon Mangkhut slammed through Hong Kong last month, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Three weeks on and the territory’s outlying islands and remote areas are still struggling with the clean-up.

The typhoon was the most powerful since records began in 1946 and the resultant storm surge caused flood waters to reach their highest levels since 1904. The maximum typhoon signal number ten was issued for ten hours. Outlying islands including Cheung Chau were without water or electricity for several days following the storm.

With roads and government beaches now predominantly clear, local volunteers have rallied to clean up the mess inflicted on non-gazetted beaches and hiking trails, which have been deluged with trash or decimated by fallen trees. Hard-hit areas include Sai Kung, Tap Mun (Grass Island), Sai Wan, Lamma Island and Po Toi Island.

Meanwhile, damage to Sai Kung Sewage Treatment facilities was so serious that sewage treatment was reduced to a ‘primary’ level in the week following the storm – meaning only half of the raw sewage pollutants were being eliminated. Full repairs are not expected until the end of the year. The public is currently recommended not to swim at nearby beaches.

Beach clean-ups will be taking place on Sunday October 7 at Deepwater Bay at 10.30am-1pm; Chi Ma Wan, Lantau, in conjunction with the Agriculture, Fisheries Conservation Department (AFCD) at 9.30am; and on October 13 for ‘little’ Trio Beach, Sai Kung, meeting at Hebe Haven Yacht Club, boats departing for Trio at 11am and returning at 3pm, cold beer and vegetarian buffet for all 3-4pm – bags and cotton gloves provided, please wear sensible footwear, contact carolfsk@gmail.com.