Authorities in Da Nang, a tourist hotspot in central Vietnam, ran the country’s first-ever tsunami drill on Wednesday, hoping to pinpoint any weaknesses in the local disaster alert system.
The scenario used for the drill involved an imaginary earthquake off the coast of the Philippines that caused a five-meter-high tsunami to strike the coastline in Da Nang and neighboring Quang Nam province.
Upon ‘detection’ of the hypothetical tsunami, the Institute of Geophysics sent warnings to a system of lights and high-powered disaster megaphones mounted on towers throughout the city which called on local communities to evacuate.
Text messages were also set to residents in vulnerable areas.
A common criticism given by local residents regarding the drill was the megaphone system was not loud enough to properly send messages throughout surrounding communities.
|A text message on a hypothetical tsunami is sent to a mobile phone in Da Nang City, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|A tsunami warning megaphone tower in Da Nang City, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
One local official involved with planning the drill said the ‘tsunami’ detected two hours prior to impact during the scenario and authorities were able to create a reaction strategy in just 30 minutes after detecting the imminent disaster.
Following in Quang Nam’s footsteps, Da Nang is the second region in Vietnam to equip itself with a tsunami alert system.
The city’s coastline skirts almost all of its inner areas and includes a mix of beaches and fishing ports.