Plenty of MTR safeguards to prevent flooding

It is highly unlikely that Hong Kong's MTR stations would flood after heavy rain. That's according to Hong Kong Institution of Engineers president Edwin Chung Kwok-fai. He told The Standard that water cannot easily flood the MTR stations because all their entrances are higher than street...

Wallis Wang

Thursday, July 22, 2021

It is highly unlikely that Hong Kong's MTR stations would flood after heavy rain.

That's according to Hong Kong Institution of Engineers president Edwin Chung Kwok-fai.

He told The Standard that water cannot easily flood the MTR stations because all their entrances are higher than street level.

"The entrances at all MTR stations are designed to be higher than streets by at least 600 millimeters - the height of three stairs," Chung said.

"Therefore, even if a whole street is flooded, the MTR station will still stay dry."

And even if some water did enter the stations, there are waterproof gates in the stations to prevent the water from going everywhere.

Chung pointed out that all underground areas in Hong Kong are close to the sea and the rains would enter the sea instead of causing flooding. He added: "The MTR stations at those places would not be flooded unless sea levels rose to submerge the streets of Hong Kong."

Responding to The Standard's inquiries, MTR Corp said it has a series of measures to ensure stations will not be flooded, including arranging for maintenance teams to stand by along railway lines to carry out emergency repairs. It always reviews all flood-protection facilities before heavy rains and typhoons to ensure they operate smoothly.

But the head of Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education's department of construction, Edmond Wong Hon-ping, said extreme weather - including torrential rains - could affect the stability of buildings.

"Although heavy rain will not make buildings collapse, it could paralyze the drainage system and cause flooding," Wong said.

"The flooding could damage the foundation of the buildings and affect their stability."