Drones to start preventing fires in Macau

Macau authorities today announced a fire prevention plan with the use of drones and an electronic map monitoring the means of combat in the construction of the smart city.

The Fire Department has been making every effort to keep up with the ‘Smart Government’ project,” and “the development of firefighting work has begun in a smart way,” said Fire Department commander Leong Iok Sam during a presentation to journalists.

In 2019, the authorities intend to create an electronic platform with the “location of personnel and emergency vehicles”, as well as a mapping of “hydrants, water sources, among others“, explained the commander.

Later this year, the territory authorities will acquire “two or three ‘drones’“, in the test phase, for a smarter prevention and action in the fires in the territory, which in 2018 increased 7.93% in relation to the period homologous from the previous year, according to official data presented by the Fire Department.

Last year, the country recorded the highest number of fires in the last four years (1,116), most of them caused by gas leaks in homes or restaurants.

The measures now announced are part of the Government’s ambitions to make the territory an intelligent city. To this end, it signed a framework agreement with the Alibaba group in August 2017 for the establishment of a cloud computing center [a set of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data instead of local or personal computers] and a mega-platform to improve efficiency in areas such as transportation, tourism, health, administration and security.

The cloud computing centre cost about 200 million patacas (about 22 million euros), according to the authorities.

During the presentation to journalists, Leong Iok Sam also pointed out that the total number of occurrences in the territory in 2018 (47,327) decreased by 1.27% compared to 2017, since the Fire Department received fewer occurrences when the typhoon Mangkut, compared to the Typhoon Hato in 2017.

The majority of typhoon occurrences concern the “rescue of people trapped, the treatment of flooding in auto-silos, the cleaning of falling objects, people trapped in elevators, burnt electrical panels, landslides, road accidents and medical emergencies”, stressed the commander.

In mid-September, typhoon Mangkhut caused 40 injuries and severe flooding in the territory, where the maximum tropical storm signal was hoisted several hours and more than 5,600 people had to be removed from the dwellings, after a mega-operation of the civil protection that put in the territory 16 shelters, with capacity to accommodate about 24 thousand people.

Numbers contrast with those recorded in the passage of Hato in August 2017, which killed 10 people and injured 240 people.

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