A nationwide natural disaster drill is to be held on Friday, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday, urging people not to panic when they receive text alerts warning of simulated disasters.
Taiwan marks National Disaster Prevention Day annually on Sept. 21, which falls on Tuesday next week.
However, the ministry said the drills would be held on Friday, starting with an earthquake drill that would send a text alert to mobile phones nationwide.
The message would be sent at 9:21am, urging people to “duck, take cover and hold still,” the ministry said.
At 9:25am, a tsunami warning would be sent to people in coastal areas, it said.
Finally, from 10:59am to 11:01am, all television channels would cut to the Public Television Service for a two-minute broadcast on disaster prevention, so that the public can receive updates and response protocols from the government first-hand in case of a disaster, it added.
The drills would simulate a magnitude 8 earthquake centered in the Ryukyu Trench that stretches between Taiwan and Japan, the ministry said.
An earthquake of such magnitude could cause casualties, destruction of property, infrastructure damage, and disruptions to electricity, water and communications services in Taiwan, it said.
The ministry is also to hold an internal online video drill among disaster response departments today and tomorrow, it said.
The drill would test whether the departments can react properly with resources at hand, and whether local disaster response units can cooperate with foreign volunteers in Taiwan and abroad, it added.
Taiwan started observing National Disaster Prevention Day on Sept. 21, 2000, one year after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck central Taiwan, killing more than 2,400 people.
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