Traffic controls Thursday during Wan An drill in northern Taiwan

Taipei, --The annual Wan An air defense drill is set to be held in seven counties and cities in northern Taiwan from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, during which streets will be evacuated to allow for disaster prevention drills, air-raid siren tests and traffic controls.

Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Yilan County, Hsinchu County and Keelung will be the locations where the drill, codenamed Wan An No. 40, will take place.

During the half-hour period, pedestrians and vehicles will have to stay off the roads as ordered by the military, police and civil defense workers, according to the Taipei City Police Department.

Those who violate traffic and evacuation instructions by the authorities will be subject to fines of between NT$30,000 (US$993) and NT$150,000 under Article 25 of the Civil Defense Act, the police said.

The high-speed rail, mass rapid transit systems and flights will operate as usual, although disembarking passengers will have to remain in their stations during the drill.

Passengers are also advised to arrive earlier at the Nangang, Taipei, Banqiao, Taoyuan and Hsinchu high speed rail stations, as shuttle bus services and taxis will not be operating during the drill, according to the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC).

The following are several rules of the mandatory evacuation during the drill:

@ When the air-raid siren sounds, people at home must close windows and turn off indoor and outdoor lights.

@ Pedestrians must follow law-enforcement evacuation instructions by walking to a nearby shelter. Motorists must stop their cars, leave their vehicles and walk to a nearby shelter.

@ Lingering on balconies or in alleys is prohibited.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel