The last two typhoon seasons posed a serious blow for Macau and its casinos. At one point, many casinos were flooded, which resulted in a significantly lower number of visitors afterward. Macau is located in an area where typhoons are not a rare sight, and it seems that nature is their main obstacle to keeping the flow of tourists constant. This year, they plan to take serious counter-measures in order to ensure that there will be no disasters or anything that could put their visitors’ lives in danger or damage properties. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) decided to launch a “readiness program,” which will make sure that the gaming industry in Macau will not be crippled by the possibility of typhoons.
As the season gets near, the regulator announced that they have started field exercises where all casino concessionaires are included. The goal of this is to make sure that the emergency response procedures are up to date and effective. These procedures will become active if a typhoon approaches Macau. DICJ doesn’t take matters lightly — and they shouldn’t, as the weather reports forecast one of the most severe patterns of weather in the upcoming days. In fact, reporters announced that the number of typhoons in the area could be anywhere from four to six.
Typhoons and other catastrophes require that everyone is well prepared for what may come. In fact, the field exercises that were performed included a wide variety of potential catastrophes that may strike Macau, with one of them being communication breakdown due to damages made by a storm. The range of people and groups involved in these exercises is really high, as there are various agencies, departments, casino operators, and more. Some of them practiced what to do with gaming tables in case of a catastrophe and how to reopen them.
Hato and Mangkhut
In 2017, a T10 typhoon called Typhoon Hato struck the Macau area and led to a loss of life. In fact, a total of ten people passed away due to extreme weather conditions. Furthermore, the damage done was estimated at approximately $11.5 billion. As if that wasn’t enough, another typhoon struck a year later, called Typhoon Mangkhut, which caused severe flooding. As a matter of face, all 42 casinos that operate in the city were flooded and had to be shut down for more than a day, which is something that never happened in Macau.
In 2018, the storm was so strong that it caused major flooding, despite the fact that it happened approximately 40 km away from Macau. City lockdown was ordered directly from the government in order to prevent further disasters loss of life.
The field exercises are not the only measure taken in case of a typhoon, as Macau also has floodgates installed, which should prevent similar disasters from happening.
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