Skip Content

Economic and Social Effects of Tropical Cyclones

Economic and Social Effects of Tropical Cyclones


Economic and Social Effects of Tropical Cyclones

Gone are the days when Hong Kong was a mere fishing and trading post along the coast of southern China.

Gone are the days when a large proportion of the population lived in squatter huts on precarious slopes or in flood-prone areas.

Gone are the days when heavy casualties of the order of thousands inevitably followed the passage of a major typhoon.

Hong Kong is now an international city of great diversity. While improvement in building design and housing has provided better shelter, problems of other kinds emerge. Although visible damage due to a tropical cyclone has become less and less, the economic loss in our place where time is of essence - "time is money" - is quite immeasurable. In an advanced society reliant on organizational refinement, coping with the unusual or unplanned creates a good deal of congestion, uncertainty and loss of income.

For example, with the extensive development of new towns, commuting becomes part of daily life. One never forgets the ensuing traffic chaos when Signal No. 8 is issued or cancelled. In an effort to avoid such chaos, the Hong Kong Observatory has taken steps to liaise closely with the major transport operators and other government departments to ensure a state of preparedness in the event of the issuing or cancelling of Signal No. 8.