Taipei, (CNA) With more than 2 million passenger-journeys a day, the Taipei metro system has a standard response protocol in the event of an earthquake, the specific measures of which depend on the intensity of the temblor.
Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC) publicized that protocol on Tuesday in the wake of a magnitude-5.3 earthquake that shook the northeastern county of Yilan. The company indicated it was making the protocol public to raise awareness of earthquake response procedures on the metro system.
The mass rapid transport system operator said 10 locations on the Taipei metro system are equipped with a seismograph and these seismographs record seismic movements and issue alerts when an earthquake occurs.
When a temblor strikes, response measures are immediately adopted and can involve slowing down or stopping trains depending on the intensity of the tremor, according to TRTC.
Under TRTC’s earthquake response protocol, trains continue to run at normal speed when the intensity of a quake measures 1 on Taiwan’s 7-tier earthquake intensity scale, while running trains are slowed down when intensity is 2-3, so the conductor can conduct a system check.
When an intensity of 4 is recorded, trains are stopped before restarting at a slower speed until the nearest station is reached where passengers are asked to disembark. The train, station and related equipment then undergo safety checks before the system can be restarted at normal safety levels.
If a tremor with an intensity of 5 or more is recorded, the previous protocol is followed, but additional safety checks of the structure of crucial facilities are conducted at the end of the day.
TRTC urges passengers to stay calm in the event of an earthquake and follow the instructions of station personnel.
The epicenter of the magnitude 5.3 earthquake that shook Yilan at 10:47 p.m. Monday. was 19.1 kilometers southwest of Yilan County Hall at a depth of 46.5 kilometers.
A tremor with an intensity of 5 was felt in Yilan while it registered an intensity of 3 in Taipei and New Taipei. No casualties or property damage were reported.
This is the latest in a series of earthquakes that have shaken eastern Taiwan, including a magnitude 6 temblor that hit the coast of Hualien County on Feb. 6, killing 17 people and injuring 285.
(By Huang Li-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)