Taiwan is to test a tsunami alarm in areas potentially at risk of tsunamis around the country on National Disaster Prevention Day on Sept. 19, the Executive Yuan said yesterday.
The new tsunami warning system is to be set off to familiarize the public with how it works on a day when the government hopes to raise public awareness of disaster prevention, the Executive Yuan said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said at meeting yesterday to prepare for the approaching Typhoon Matmo that civilian organizations have helped the government mount rescue and relief efforts, showing that they play a key role in disaster prevention.
He urged the Ministry of the Interior to continue to register the volunteer groups and to improve their training so that they can take on an even greater role in responding to disasters.
Mao also said that the dissemination of disaster information should be done in the simplest, clearest and most understandable way.
Separately yesterday, the military said it has opened an emergency center and mobilized thousands of troops to be ready for disaster-relief operations after a sea warning was issued yesterday afternoon for Typhoon Matmo.
The Central Weather Bureau said a land warning is expected in the early hours of today, and warned of heavy rains in central and northern regions starting later today, before the storm makes landfall in Yilan or Hualien counties early tomorrow.
More than 47,000 troops have been placed on standby to provide relief and rescue assistance as needed, along with 22 helicopters, one transport plane, six AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles and four V-150 Commando armored cars ready for deployment, the Ministry of National Defense said.
The military will continue closely following the situation to provide timely relief assistance, it said.
As of 8:30pm yesterday, the storm was centered 600km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), the southernmost tip of the nation, moving north-northwest at a speed of 23kph.
Matmo, expected to be the first typhoon to directly hit Taiwan this year, was packing sustained winds of 126kph, with gusts reaching 162kph, the weather bureau said.
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