Due to the impact of typhoon Hato, the Cultural Affairs Bureau has immediately sent staff to conduct an urgent inspection to various heritage buildings today (24 August). The inspection area includes the Historic Centre of Macao, the classified immovable properties (including 61 monuments and 46 buildings of architectural interest), and the major temples and churches. In order to ensure the safety of the buildings, the Cultural Affairs Bureau has contacted the owners and the administrators of the related buildings to understand the actual situation and sent staff to the sites for detailed inspection. After the first round of inspection, it is initially identified that most of the heritage buildings do not show immediate structural danger; some heritage buildings are damaged though, affected by the collapse of trees or the lack of water and electricity supply, etc. The Cultural Affairs Bureau will send staff to provide assistance.
The 22 buildings in the Historic Centre of Macao are basically in good condition though some were damaged. Part of the boundary walls of the Guia Fortress were damaged by the collapse of trees; the typhoon signal pole also fell over nearby houses; the false ceiling of the portico of the Dom Pedro V Theatre collapsed; the scaffolding surrounding St. Joseph’s Seminary is partly deformed and needs to be reinforced; some trees at Lilau Square collapsed and may cause danger to passers-by. The Cultural Affairs Bureau will quickly ask the contractor companies to conduct an on-site inspection and strives to get rid of the dangers by working with the related departments as soon as possible.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau has also contacted the owners and administrators of the major temples and churches to understand the status of the structure, the roof, the indoor and outdoor facilities of the buildings. Most of the administrators expressed that the structure and the external walls of the buildings were not seriously damaged. The collapse of tress and the floods caused minor damage to the roof of some temples and churches, blocked the way or caused power damage. The Cultural Affairs Bureau promptly sent staff to inspect the sites, provided emergency support, assisted the cleaning work and notified people about strengthening the inspection of electrical installations, as well as ensuring the safety use of electricity.
As there are more than 100 classified immovable properties in Macao, the Cultural Affairs Bureau has not yet inspected all. However, the Bureau staff will continue to conduct the inspections. In addition, the opening hours of the various heritage buildings, including temples and churches, are subject to the actual situation of the buildings since detailed inspection and cleaning are needed. They will reopen only after the completion of the maintenance works. Based on safety considerations, the public and tourists are urged to avoid entering dangerous areas. Meanwhile, the relevant stakeholders and administrators must continue to pay close attention to the weather conditions, take measures to protect the heritage buildings in advance and ensure safety. If there is any need or emergency situation, please inform the Cultural Affairs Bureau immediately for assistance.