Event Detail


Epicentre: Hong Kong

Dr. Ian McFeatSmith
Monday, 30 Apr 2012
Ming Hua College, 1 Lower Albert Rd, Central
6.30 Book Signing; 7.30 Lecture

The Royal Geographical Society is pleased to welcome Dr Ian McFeatSmith to lecture on 'Epicentre: Hong Kong'. In this lecture, Dr McFeatSmith discusses the risks of earthquakes and other natural disasters impacting Hong Kong. With two major fault lines running through the New Territories, in addition to a huge fault line just 20 km south of Lantau, earthquake risk has always been present in Hong Kong, but the risks often discounted.

Dr McFeatSmith's lecture addresses the question of the likelihood of earthquakes or other disasters in Hong Kong by drawing on his experience of over 30 years as an engineering geologist working on deep tunnels and other infrastructure in Hong Kong. He argues that the risks of such incidents are substantially higher than have been acknowledged by the professional community or Government.

With over 60,000 highrise buildings, an aging nuclear power station and a population of 7 million at a density of over 250,000 per sq km in some areas, a natural disaster in Hong Kong might potentially be devastating. Aside from the risk of casualties, water and power supplies might easily fail, together with many of the older buildings in Hong Kong. Given the consequences of earthquakes as low as 5.6 on the Richter scale elsewhere in the world, Dr McFeatSmith discusses the possible consequences in Hong Kong of an earthquake event.

Dr McFeatSmith also explains the major fault line systems in Hong Kong and recent movements in the Pearl River estuary, which is sinking rapidly into the South China Sea. He discusses the possibility of manmade interventions sparking natural disasters. He concludes by reviewing the Government’s contingency plans for natural disasters.

Dr Ian McFeatSmith holds a MSc in Engineering Geology and was awarded his doctorate for studies in Mining Geology. He is a director of Atkins China and proprietor of IMS Tunnels. He has advised on over 80 major infrastructure projects in Asia, including most stages of the Hong Kong MTR. The author of over 60 published papers, he has also written two books, The Geology of Hong Kong and the eponymous Epicentre: Hong Kong.

Members and guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.

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