The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Macau Garrison has been taking part in storm relief efforts following a request by Macau’s Chief Executive Fernando Chui. The move comes in response to the deadly destruction caused by Typhoon Hato. The head of the city’s Observatory has also resigned in the wake of the storm.
Hato passed through Hong Kong, Macau and Southern China on Wednesday, leaving at least 16 dead. In Macau, the hurricane led to power outages, severe flooding, and nine casualties as of Friday morning, RTHK reported.
It was announced on Friday that the Chinese central government had approved a request by Chui to involve the PLA’s Macau garrison in order to “speed up the restoration of order in society and reduce the dangers and impact brought by the disaster.”
“The central government has responded enthusiastically to the request,” a Macau government spokesperson said.
The garrison will “work hand in hand with the Macau SAR government and all its citizens in taking part in the post-disaster rescue and rebuilding efforts, so as to restore the normal work and living environment in Macau as soon as possible,” the government spokesperson added.
When asked on Friday whether Hong Kong would one day do the same, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that she would not respond to hypothetical questions.
At a press conference on Thursday, Chui publicly apologised on behalf of the government, and promised they would do their best to restore order and limit the damage. Chui also announced that Fong Soi-kun, director of the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau, has resigned.
Chui said that the government was underprepared for the storm, which was the strongest the city had faced in 53 years. Chui also admitted that there were shortcomings in dealing with the typhoon and that there was “room for improvement.”
The officials observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives to the typhoon.