Safer in prison during Typhoon Hato


The authorities of Coloane Prison and Youth Correctional Institution have announced that ‘no cases of attempted escape during or after the typhoon have been discovered’, in response to Business Daily enquiries regarding the effect of the typhoon on the Correctional Services Bureau facilities, staff and inmates under its care.
Despite the damage inflicted by the typhoon on the facilities (see image), ‘all the inmates and housed juveniles were safe and security was not affected,’ notes the bureau, adding that ‘no inmates or housed juveniles needed to be moved to another location due to the typhoon,’ adding that the typhoon had caused ‘considerable damage to the exterior facilities and collapse of the surrounding trees and the resultant blocked roads’.
Much like the majority of the MSAR ‘water and electricity were temporarily suspended’. Despite the suspension, the bureau said that the day after Typhoon Hato hit the MSAR, ‘the electricity and water supply of the Prison gradually resumed . . . [and that] . . . the traffic flow in the surrounding roads was fully restored within the same day’.
The bureau says it has ‘for a long time . . . been stockpiling a considerable quantity of backup food supply and bottled water . . . [in addition to being] . . . ‘equipped with a backup power generator for emergency use’. In addition ‘the correctional services and security work remained unaffected’ by the considerable force of the typhoon and that ‘the bureau also arranged for some staffers to go on duty to provide extra support during the typhoon.’
The bureau also told Business Daily that during the typhoon ‘no reports of any staff members or inmates requiring treatment due to physical unwellness were received.’ However, in the event of any medical necessity, the ‘bureau is staffed with medical professionals who work on shifts to provide round-the-clock medical services to inmates and staff members in need’.
In regard to the damage itself, the response notes that ‘following the typhoon, the bureau immediately examined the degree of damage to the facilities and dispatched prison guards to help clear road blockage,’ and that currently ‘the bureau is now working to speed up the repair to the damaged facilities; it has also stepped up security to ensure that the damaged facilities can be replaced without affecting the safety of and services for inmates and juveniles.’
Neighbouring Coloane Village was severely affected by the passage of the typhoon, with damage still visible throughout, including fallen trees, stilt-houses washed away and struc­tural and water damage evident in many buildings in the area.