On 23rd August 2017, Typhoon Hato, the most powerful and destructive typhoon in over half a century, struck Macau, causing widespread damage and left 10 people dead and over 200 injured. Macau’s streets were left littered with debris and thousands of residents without electricity and running water. Four days later, on 27th August, another typhoon, Pakar, also hit Macau. While the impact of Typhoon Pakar was much lower, it nonetheless severely hindered the territory’s recovery efforts. To assist the Macau community, the Galaxy Entertainment Group (“GEG”) promptly responded by:
The GEG Typhoon Relief Fund provided financial assistance in three categories:
To assist with carrying out emergency relief work, the Foundation proactively made contact with various non-government organisations to ensure that those most affected by the two typhoons received financial assistance as soon as possible, in particular, disadvantaged and vulnerable residents, such as elderly living alone and low income families, through donations in the form of an “Emergency Relief Fund” for agencies to deploy.
The Foundation provided funding to eight agencies to set up Emergency Relief Funds, allowing them their discretion to disburse funds as appropriate to ensure that families and individuals in need without needing to go through an application followed by a lengthy vetting process. Emergency Relief Funds were used by these agencies to help needy families with emergency repairs to homes, especially with broken windows and doors, flooded household items and to purchase replacement small appliances such as electric kettles, rice cookers and fans to help them through the difficult period.
Non-Government Organisations and Schools
The Foundation worked together with Galaxy Entertainment Group and the Macau Government’ Social Welfare and Education Bureaux to identify agencies and schools which were badly affected by the typhoons and which would need to undergo extensive renovation and repair works to their offices and service facilities, replace furniture, equipment, vehicles and other supplies damaged by the typhoons, in order to resume normal operations as soon as possible. Through the Fund, the Foundation was able to provide financial assistance to over 30 agencies and schools to help pay for the repair and rebuilding works after the two typhoons.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Team Members
Apart from the schools and non-government organisations, the Foundation also provided financial assistance to about 2,000 Team Members at Galaxy Entertainment Group whose personal properties were affected by the typhoons. Team Members who suffered damages to their personal property (home repairs, repairs or replacements of appliances, furniture & vehicles) as a result of the two typhoons were eligible to apply for financial assistance under the GEG Typhoon Relief Fund.
Broadway Macau Small & Medium Enterprises
Although small and medium enterprises operating at Broadway Macau sustained only minor property damages during the typhoons, some of their main shops in the Macau peninsula, particularly those in the northern areas such as Areia Preta and Fai Chi Kei, sustained more extensive damages. Even though the owners of these affected businesses were able to apply for subsidies as well as interest-free loans from the Macau Government, the GEG Typhoon Relief Fund nevertheless was able to provide our GEG partners operating at Broadway Macau with financial assistance in their efforts to recover from the typhoon.
Macau Red Cross
To enhance disaster preparedness in the event of future disasters, the GEG Typhoon Relief Fund provided funding to Macau Red Cross to enable them to stock up on disaster relief supplies, and to store them at an emergency storage facility locally in Macau, with the 5-year rental of such facility also being paid for by the Fund. Funding was also provided to Macau Red Cross to purchase a rescue boat and an ambulance for use during emergencies; furthermore, the Foundation also provided funding for staff and volunteers of the Macau Red Cross to undergo local and overseas training related to disaster relief.
These disaster relief supplies came to good use in anticipation of Typhoon Mangkhut in September 2018. GEG volunteers, together with Red Cross volunteers, distributed five hundred emergency family kits in Rua do Praia de Manduco and Hong Kung Temple, two low-lying residential areas that were at risk of flooding.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Foundation had also learned that the deaf community in Macau had inadequate access to information related to the disasters and, as in the past, experienced problems accessing emergency-related notices and safety information as it was usually made available only via verbal communication channels. In order to prepare the deaf community in similar emergency situations, the Foundation commissioned the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong to develop a database for disaster-related vocabularies and phrases used in Macau sign language. The finished database on disaster-related signs will be housed with the Macau Government’s Social Welfare Bureau so that all agencies and persons working with the deaf community can access and utilize the information to make such emergency announcements more accessible to the deaf community in future.
GEG Typhoon Relief Fund
On August 23, 2017, Typhoon Hato, the most powerful and destructive typhoon in the past half century struck Macau. A typhoon of this magnitude had a major economic and social impact to Macau, and causing much damages to businesses big or small. Streets were left littered with debris, causing significant hardship to the entire city and its residents. The Galaxy Entertainment Group Foundation and the Lui family jointly contributed to set up the “GEG Typhoon Relief Fund” to help with disaster relief and reconstruction of the Macau community.
GEG Typhoon Relief Fund - Chairman’s Interview
In the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Hato in August 2017, the Galaxy Entertainment Group swiftly responded to the needs of community by sending out the GEG Volunteer Team to give out food and water to those living in the most affected areas of Macau. An MOP 60 million “GEG Typhoon Relief Fund”, set up with contributions from the Galaxy Entertainment Group Foundation and the Lui family, was used to help restore and rebuild the community as well as to provide financial assistance to Galaxy Macau’s Team Members and various small and medium enterprises operating at Broadway Macau.