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Landslide Emergency Services

GEO Emergency Control Centre

Introduction

The GEO maintains a 24-hour, year-round service to provide geotechnical advice to Government Departments on actions to be taken in case of danger arising from landslides. The service includes advice on closure of roads, evacuation of buildings, and urgent slope repair works. The primary objective of the emergency service is to protect the general public from landslide hazards and to assist Government Departments to restore services to the public which have been disrupted by landslides.

GEO Emergency Service to Government Departments/> When the Landslip Warning is in force

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The GEO Emergency Control Centre (ECC) operates to provide geotechnical advice to Government Departments on action to be taken on landslides

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Occurrence of Landslide Incidents

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Despatch Geotechnical Engineers to inspect incidents and advise on emergency measures (e.g. road closures) and urgent repair works

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Temporary road closure and urgent repair works

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Completion of slope repair works and re-opening of road

GEO Emergency Service

The GEO deploys its Geotechnical Engineers (GEs) to provide technical advice to other Departments in dealing with landslide related emergencies. However, the GEO is not a disciplined service with local offices throughout Hong Kong. The emergency service it provides, particularly in regard to response time, should not be compared with that of the Police or the Fire Services Department.

During office hours, the District Divisions of the GEO handle requests for emergency service from other Departments. Emergency service outside office hours is normally provided through a radio pager system. The pagers are carried by GEs who respond to calls for advice from other Government Departments.

Where a high demand for emergency service is anticipated, such as when a Landslip Warning or typhoon signal number 8 or above has been issued, the Emergency Control Centre (ECC) in the Civil Engineering and Development Building at Homantin will be in operation, which is manned by 13 emergency teams on a rotational basis, working in approximately 8-hour shifts. The team controller of the ECC (a Senior Geotechnical Engineer) receives all landslide reports, and despatches GEs promptly to landslide sites to provide necessary advice to other Government Departments. More senior GEO staff are available on call to give advice to GEs in dealing with difficult or serious cases.


Continuous Improvements

GEO is committed to developing its emergency system to cater for all possible landslide emergency situations. Equipment and IT capabilities are continuously enhanced and operational procedures streamlined to improve efficiency. Intensive training and drills are organized on a regular basis for all staff involved. De-briefing sessions are arranged to review lessons learnt from actual emergency operations. In the spirit of a continuous improvement, GEO regularly undertakes improvement initiatives to gear up its emergency system to meet challenges.