Taipei MRT announces SOP for earthquake response

Taipei's Metro system announced its standard operating procedure in the event of earthquakes of various sizes


(Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In the wake of yet another jarring magnitude 5.3 earthquake on Monday, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC) announced its standard operating procedure (SOP) in the event of earthquakes according to the degree of intensity.

The Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system has installed seismographs at 10 locations including stations at Tamsui, Beitou, Jiantan and the Taipei Traffic Control Center, among others to monitor earthquake information and to take timely action, reported CNA.

TRTC said that in the event of an earthquake, it would adopt measures such as slowing down the trains or suspending their operation, in accordance with the intensity level of the earthquake, in order to maintain passenger safety.

Among the measures that would be taken according to the report would include: intensity level 1, normal operations; intensity level 2-3, trains would come to a halt, followed by slower speeds until it was confirmed that that system was back to normal.

In the event of an intensity level of 4, moving trains would be halted, and then resume at a slower speed until passengers could be released from the vehicles at the nearest stop. Once trains, tracks and equipment are found to be operating safely, normal operations would resume.

For earthquakes with an intensity level of 5 or higher, moving trains will be halted, before resuming at a reduced speed to allow passengers to exit the cars at the nearest station. Operations on the system will then be suspended to allow time to inspect the tracks, stations and equipment according to procedures to confirm operational safety. Once all systems and facilities have found to be operating normally and all relevant Taipei MRT personnel have been informed, the trains will resume normal operations.

TRTC officials reminded people if they encounter an earthquake while on board a train to remain calm and follow the instructions provided by MRT personnel. Passengers are advised to not panic or push to avoid accidents.

Located along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Taiwan uses an intensity scale of 1 to 7, which gauges the degree to which a quake is felt in a specific location.

Monday's magnitude 5.3 earthquake shook northeastern Taiwan's Yilan County at 10:47 p.m. generating an intensity level of 5 in Yilan County, while an intensity level of 4 was recorded in Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, New Taipei City, and Nantou County.

On Feb. 6, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Hualien County, causing four major buildings to collapse, eventually claiming the lives of 17 and injuring 291.