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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Military to be deployed upon typhoon warnings

ROC Central News Agency

2009/10/01 23:04:03

By Lilian Wu

Taipei, Oct. 1 (CNA) The military will deploy troops in potential danger zones on a standby basis upon the issuance of a typhoon warning, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Thursday.

Vice Defense Minister Huang Yi-ping said the number of deployed forces will exceed 6,000 personnel.

In Hualien and Taitung counties, the military will deploy about 400 servicemen, as well as generators and water pumps, while in northern Taiwan, around 3,000 servicemen equipped with amphibious vehicles and rubber boats will be placed on standby, he said.

In southern Taiwan, around 2,000 soldiers will be deployed, along with pumps and diggers, while in central Taiwan, 1,700 will be deployed with various heavy equipment.

Similar measures will be taken on the outlying islands of Penghu, Matsu and Kinmen, he added.

"The remaining troops will be divided into a first contingency group, which will be ready to depart for affected areas 10 minutes after a disaster is reported, while a second contingency group will depart for the areas three hours later," he added.

The military has also investigated the status of idle and still usable military barracks in various cities and counties, and has planned 34 shelters in 22 cities and counties able to accommodate around 14,000 disaster victims.

Huang said the military "has reviewed its rescue operations during Typhoon Morakot in early August and has made major changes in its disaster prevention and rescue methods." He added that in future, the ranks of military personnel stationed at the Central Emergency Operation Center will be upgraded and that additional staff will be stationed there to be in charge of coordination with government agencies, equipment, personnel dispatch and news dissemination.

Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau said that whether two approaching typhoons -- Parma and Melor -- will make a direct hit on Taiwan was not yet certain, but it predicted heavy rain for northern and eastern parts of Taiwan due to the combined effect of the two typhoons and the northeasterly monsoon.

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