Taiwan to test national disaster warnings in annual drill Monday

09/20/2020 07:42 PM
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Kindergarten children wear protective hoods during an earthquake drill in Taipei in 2016. CNA file photo
Kindergarten children wear protective hoods during an earthquake drill in Taipei in 2016. CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) An annual drill will be conducted Monday in Taiwan to test its public warning systems for natural disasters, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

On the country's National Disaster Prevention Day, the first test will be a nationwide earthquake drill, during which a text message will be sent to people's mobile phones at 9:21 a.m., warning them to "duck, take cover and then hold still," the ministry said in a Facebook post Sunday.

A tsunami warning will also be tested, with sirens sounding across the country between 10 a.m. and 10:10 a.m., the ministry said.

At 10:59 a.m., all television channels will cut to the Public Television Service for a two-minute broadcast of disaster prevention information, according to the ministry.

In the southern city of Tainan, there will be a specific drill Monday to test the government's response in the event of casualties and building collapse in a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, the ministry said.

Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), meanwhile, advised that people in Taiwan should always keep an emergency bag packed with clothes, a first-aid kit, torch, helmet and some cash, among other things. He also suggested that people maintain a supply of food and water enough for three days at least.

Taiwan began observing National Disaster Prevention Day on Sept. 21, 2000, one year after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in central Taiwan killed more than 2,400 people.

(By Chen Chun-hua and Kay Liu)

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