‘Bad weather likely behind hospital site subsidence’

Hospital Authority chief executive Tony Ko has played down the impact of subsidence that has forced the suspension of construction work at the site of the future acute hospital in Kai Tak, blaming bad weather for what he says is a common phenomenon.

The authority announced on Wednesday that four monitoring checkpoints at the site recorded subsidence of more than 25 millimetres during last weekend’s tropical storm, halting foundation work there.

“Our preliminary assessment showed that it could be related to the recent weather, and according to our understanding it’s a common phenomenon,” Ko said on Friday.

“From what we can see, the subsidence was slight and controllable,” he added.

He also said the authority will review how it releases information, after lawmakers complained that the problem was only revealed a few days after it was found.

Development Secretary Michael Wong has said that the Hospital Authority will need to ensure that the site is safe before construction work resumes and that similar incidents don’t happen again.

The hospital, scheduled to be completed in 2025, is expected to provide 2,400 beds as well as other facilities including a community health centre.