TAIPEI — A section of the Suhua Highway will be closed some time between March and April for an emergency drill aimed at minimizing the effects of natural disasters during the southwestern monsoon season, the Directorate General of Highways (DGH) said yesterday.
The drill will focus on pre-disaster planning, emergency measurements and rescue efforts, the DGH said.
President Ma Ying-jeou urged the Cabinet Monday to begin its preparations no later than March for the southwestern monsoon season, which usually begins in Taiwan from May.
“We will try to model the exercise on the Wan-an drill,” said DGH Director Wu Meng-fen, referring to the full-scale anti-air raid drills that usually last 30 minutes, from the emergency alarm to the all-clear signal.
Wu also said the DGH has trained more than 400 crew members during the last two months to deal with emergency situations resulting from severe weather.
The Tourism Bureau and local governments, police stations and fire departments also will participate in the drill to develop a clear plan, he said.
It has not yet been decided which section of the highway will be closed or at what time, he said.
The issue of safety on the Suhua Highway, which is perched above the Pacific Ocean, came to attention after torrential rains from Typhoon Megi last October triggered lethal landslides on the road, killing 26 people.