Wed, Mar 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Wan-an drills to be reinstated after brief hiatus to maintain ‘alertness’

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday announced the schedules for the annual Wan-an (萬安) military drills and air raid drills, which did not take place last year.

“Although cross-strait relations have improved, people’s alertness of air raids should be maintained. To that end, the ministry has decided to reinstate air raid drills this year,” head of the mobilization department of Reserve Command Major General Tsai Chung-cheng (蔡忠誠) told a press conference.

Tsai said local government leaders would serve as directors of air raid drills this year and would be charged with siren broadcasts, evacuations and traffic control.

The general said seven air raid drills would be held separately in cities and counties in the northern, central, southern and eastern areas, as well as the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu between May and June.

Residents in those areas are urged to stay inside buildings or follow instructions for evacuation during the 30-minute drill, while operators of vehicles will be required to pull over, Tsai said.

Failure to follow the rules could result in fines, he added.

The general added the dates and time would be announced by local governments seven days prior to the air raid drills.

Meanwhile, Tsai said since extreme weather has resulted in serious natural disasters globally and the nation’s geography made the country vulnerable to typhoons, floods and earthquakes, this year’s military drill would continue to focus on rescue and relief operations.

Tsai said the drills would help the military develop a working relationship with local governments in various types of national disaster relief efforts.

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