- Casino brand joins relief efforts following deadly storm
- 2,000 construction workers and 500 staff volunteers pledged to help in Macau recovery
- $3.7 million relief fund ($30 million MOP) offered by Melco to aid clean up
Major Macau casino operator Melco has pledged 2,500 of its own construction workers and volunteers to help with the aid and recovery effort in the Asian casino hub after the worst storm in more than 50 years.
It has also set up a $3.7 million ($30 million MOP) disaster relief fund which includes a personal donation from Melco chairman Lawrence Ho.
Casinos and other businesses are counting the cost this week after Typhoon Hato left nine dead and caused hundreds of injuries, as well as creating extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Hotels and casinos reported major flooding inside their buildings, and many properties remain closed while cleaning crews and builders repair the damage.
Melco, which avoided any closures at its properties, is looking to get the southern Chinese resort city back on its feet as quickly as possible.
Casinos damaged during 124 MPH winds
The Typhoon hit the Cotai Strip particularly hard. It is a reclaimed zone of land containing a large amount of casino resort properties.
A statement by Melco confirms that employees are contributing to the cleanup and recovery efforts, and that the casino is supporting any local staff affected by the storms.
A crew of 2,500 construction and casino workers has been contributing to disaster relief, delivering bottled water and clearing debris.
“This is the worst typhoon Macau has seen in over half a century,” said group chairman Lawrence Ho.
“Melco and I personally are 100% committed to sharing our collective resources to help the city and its people arrive at a swift and total restoration of order, including our own employees.”
The CEO has included an undisclosed personal donation amount in the relief funding made available.
A statement from Melco added: “All events at Melco properties have been cancelled through the weekend so that employees can continue to support the clean-up.
“Melco will provide its employees all the support, understanding and flexibility necessary in their work hours to assist their families and restore order to their daily life.”
Impact of typhoon continues
Across Macau, the wider effects of Typhoon Hato are becoming apparent. Nine people are known to have died and more than 200 have been injured, and the Macau Government Tourism Office is advising tourists to stay away. Power and water supply is still intermittent within the city limits, and the cost of the storm is likely to run to millions of dollars.
Macau is also bracing itself for a second storm, currently forming over the ocean and on course to pass close to Hong Kong.
Forecasters are keeping a close eye on the weather system, and authorities plan to raise the storm alert warning to Level 1 on Saturday. The army has been drafted in to assist with recovery operations, and to prepare for further extreme weather than could cause even more damage.
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