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HK emergency response system under review
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Secretary for Home Affairs of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Tsang Tak-sing said Wednesday the HKSAR government's emergency response system is under review in the wake of the June 7 rainstorm.

Tsang told lawmakers on Wednesday the emergency coordination or control centers of various government departments and the Emergency Monitoring and Support Center activated the emergency response mechanism in accordance with the existing Contingency Plan for Natural Disasters on June 7, when a record downpour inundated many areas, triggered landslide and caused chaos in the city.

"The HKSAR government is aware the provision of prompt and effective emergency services is vital for residents to restore their normal lives," Tsang said, adding "the HKSAR government will learn from the incident and conduct a review on the ways to further improve its emergency response system."

In response to criticism of the government's emergency response system, Tsang said information collection and impact assessment, consideration will be given to improving communication among departments apart from enhancing co-ordination work.

If the improvements are made, he said, the HKSAR government will be able to grasp more accurately the situation of individual districts and improve the emergency response and relief systems to ensure prompt and effective assistance will be provided to affected residents.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, the total rainfall recorded at in June 2008 reached 1,346.1 mm, breaking the previous monthly rainfall record of 1,241.1 mm in May 1889.

(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2008)

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