TV stations are to broadcast an emergency message from 10:59am to 11:01am today, which would be part of a nationwide disaster and emergency drill, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.
The message would be part of exercises on National Disaster Prevention Day, which is held annually on Sept. 21, but was moved to today to avoid an overlap with the Mid-Autumn Festival, the commission said.
Alerts would also be sent to mobile phones, it added.
The government has been working on integrating the nation’s disaster warning architecture since a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off Japan’s east coast on March 11, 2013, and residents of the affected areas were immediately warned of a tsunami on local TV stations, commission officials said.
NCC Department of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity Deputy Director Wu Ming-ren (吳銘仁) said that at the time of the drills, cable channels would interrupt their programming and instead broadcast the signal of Public Television Service (PTS).
PTS and other terrestrial channels such as Taiwan Television, China Television, Chinese Television System and Formosa TV would broadcast the pre-recorded message, he said.
All the nation’s cable channels are connected to the Central Emergency Response Center, which is responsible for simulcast disaster alerts, Wu said.
However, terrestrial channels are not yet connected to the center and would have to update their facilities, he said.
For today’s drill, staff at terrestrial stations would manually play the message, Wu added.
NCC Vice Chairman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that the National Fire Agency has allocated funding for terrestrial channels to update their facilities for the simulcast of disaster alerts.
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