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Taiwan to issue its first-ever volcano alert

Mount Datun poses largest risk due to its proximity to Taipei

Mount Datun near Taipei is an active volcano (Wikicommons, peellden photo)

Mount Datun near Taipei is an active volcano (Wikicommons, peellden photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Residents of a neighborhood in the Taipei district of Beitou will receive a text message Tuesday morning (Dec. 29) warning them of a volcano eruption, the first-ever such drill in Taiwan.

The Mount Datun system north of Taipei and Turtle Island (Guishan Island) off the coast of the northeastern county of Yilan are considered active volcanoes, meaning they have erupted at least once in the past 10,000 years.

While there is no imminent risk, the authorities have been preparing for such a disaster and designing measures to respond to one, CNA reported Friday (Dec. 25). Since the distance between the Mount Datun system and the capital is less than 20 kilometers, the damage would be incalculable in the event of an eruption.

Residents of Beitou's Hutian neighborhood (湖田里) will receive a three-minute volcano alert on their cell phones between 10 and 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The Public Warning System message will make it clear that it is only a drill.

Since 2018, the Ministry of the Interior and the Central Weather Bureau have been working on how to handle volcano eruptions, designing the modalities and procedures necessary for the warning system.