The government urged people to stay calm and keep safe when they receive text messages on Wednesday next week to simulate warnings of an earthquake and tsunami as part of drills to observe the 23rd anniversary of the deadly 921 Earthquake.
Two text messages are to be sent to mobile phone users on Wednesday warning of an earthquake at 9:21am and a tsunami at 9:25am, a statement issued by the Ministry of the Interior yesterday showed.
In the simulated scenario, a magnitude 8.0 undersea earthquake would strike the east coast at 9:21am and trigger a tsunami at 9:25am, causing buildings to collapse, damaging roads and bridges, disrupting telecommunication services and killing many people, the statement said.
The text message warning for the earthquake would be accompanied by the alarm that typically sounds on mobile phones when earthquakes occur.
When the alarm goes off, people should take steps to “keep safe” during the simulation, such as drop to the ground, take cover under a desk or stand in a corner, and hold on during the drill, the ministry said.
The tsunami alert would also be accompanied by a mobile phone alarm and an outdoor warning siren in coastal areas.
Meanwhile, all cable TV channels would be automatically switched to the Public Television Service, the local public broadcasting network, for a disaster prevention information broadcast from 10:59am to 11:01am, the statement said.
The drill is also being staged to test the authorities’ ability to coordinate operations for a large-scale disaster that would involve about 1,000 emergency responders, the ministry said.
Sept. 21 is National Disaster Prevention Day, which was first observed in 2000 to commemorate the 1999 earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people and injured more than 11,000.
It was the second-deadliest earthquake in Taiwan’s history, after the April 1935 earthquake north of Taichung, which caused more than 3,200 fatalities.
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