Tropical cyclones are one of the major natural hazards that affect the population of Hong Kong on an annual basis. However, the existing loss reduction strategies for the hazard in Hong Kong have rarely been systematically evaluated. In this paper, by adopting Smith and Petley’s (2009) framework, the loss reduction strategies currently adopted by the Hong Kong government are evaluated. The known strategies include the implementation of wind resistance design in buildings, the establishment of a state-of-the-art forecast and warning system, and a comprehensive contingency plan. Through the continuous application of those combined strategies, the vulnerability of the Hong Kong population to the tropical hazard has been greatly reduced in recent decades. Nevertheless, there are two issues of concern. First, the issuance of the tropical cyclone signal is not solely determined by wind speed. It is also mediated by the associated indirect economic loss. Second, the strengthened protection helps Hong Kong citizens to develop a strong sense of security towards the tropical cyclone hazard. But, the sense of security may be too strong which results in a general insensitivity to the potential risks of the tropical cyclone hazard. Based on the above findings, it is suggested that in addition to the existing loss reduction strategy for the tropical cyclone hazard, a strategy which enhances the risk perception of the community towards the hazard should be developed. Copyright © 2012 University of Hong Kong Press.
CitationFok, L., & Cheung, L. T. O. (2012). Evaluating the impact reduction strategies for the tropical cyclone hazard in Hong Kong. Asian Geographer, 29(2), 121-129.
- Tropical cyclone warning system
- Hong Kong