Panic buying as Typhoon Kompasu approaches

Pictures and videos showing people panic-buying staple goods have been widely circulating on social media since Monday.

The Times visited several retailers including supermarkets and bakeries and observed empty shelves with a minimal quantity of supplies. A woman was also seen buying about 40 cans of luncheon meat at a local supermarket on Monday, in preparation for the typhoon.

Public broadcaster Radio Macau also reported that at certain supermarkets, vegetables and scotch tape were sold out yesterday evening. Journalists spoke with some non-resident workers at a local supermarket, who feared that supermarkets might close when more severe typhoon warnings are issued. They bought three days’ worth of supplies as a result.

In the meantime, some interviewees said that they had been seeing more shoppers at supermarkets since Monday, with crucial supplies such as food items selling out as early as the afternoon. They therefore had no choice but to purchase other supplies.

One interviewee expressed trust that the city would have enough supplies and that certain supermarkets would not shut down even under higher typhoon signals. Others believed that stocking up on supplies at home would allow them to avoid going out during the typhoon.


In response to the panic buying, the Economic and Technological Development Bureau (DSEDT) and the Consumer Council (CC) have liaised with local suppliers to ensure ample supply during the typhoon period. At the same time, the DSEDT has deployed teams to review inventories of staple goods. Residents have been urged not to over-purchase supplies.

Based on supplier data, stock of all food types is sufficient to meet demand. Supplies of rice and cooking oils are sufficient to last a month, with inventories recording 1.47 million kg of rice and 920,000 kg of cooking oils. Moreover, stock for canned goods and other household items are similarly adequate and stable. The city also has nearly 1.32 million liters of bottled water in its inventory.

On the other hand, the DSEDT officials, alongside staff from the Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Center, have paid visits to businesses in low-lying areas to remind operators and owners to guard against possible flooding during the period when Typhoon Compasu is expected to affect Macau.

In response, these businesses have set up water blockades on their store front. A ground-floor supermarket on Rua da Praia do Manduco was seen with blockades set up from floor to ceiling.

Meanwhile, the last night bus departs at 10:10 p.m, while day buses will be suspended until further notice. Special taxis have also been suspended.




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