The day after the building collapse in Hung Hom, I nosed around the alley behind the collapsed building. The site was blocked off, and guarded by a police officer. But I did get a good look in the alley, about 50 feet from the site.
The alley itself was cleaner than I thought. Upon closer inspection, however, the buildings appeared to be in serious decay. The walls were moldy. Plasters were falling off, And there were many cracks of various lengths and widths.
At the back of one of the buildings, the rear exit was completely blocked off by debris. It could not have been comfortable and safe living there. Most of the people probably don’t want to, but they don’t have too many choices either. The rent is relatively cheap and the location is convenient. It was confirmed by listening to the crowd gathering in front.
Hong Kong has many rich people and posh residences. But there are also many many people living in substandard and downright dangerous dwellings. As the collapse had so vividly demonstrated.