City Reviews Disaster Response Capabilities of Taipei Railway Station
Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-ji presided over a press conference on the City’s contingency planning and disaster preparedness targeting the Taipei Railway Station Special Zone on July 24.The deputy mayor identified four issues based on the City’s review of security workings of the transportation hub. An outdoor command post will be established to integrate information from the four monitoring centers and malls located in the area and coordinate action in the event of emergencies. According to Teng, Taipei Railway Station Special Zone spans an area of over 48,000 square meters and comprises four transportation networks and four malls. The complex accommodates roughly a visitor flow of 500,000 per day. The layout and composition of the space makes the zone exposed to four types of hazards. First, should a fire or any incident break out, evacuation operations can pose a challenge to the eight venues due to the lack of coordinated response among different management agencies. Second, information and reports from different agencies can be confusing during the initial stage of a disaster. Third, an integrated response mechanism covering united disaster relief system, mobilization of manpower, and disaster control has yet to be implemented. Finally, how to avoid chaos at the command center amidst pressure also requires sound preparedness.Hsih Fuh-yuan, attending physician of NTUH Department of Emergency Medicine, was invited to examine the security checkup. He reckoned that lateral communication should be improved, while a common reporting and communications system should be set up among the different agencies to facilitate response. The City needs to strengthen its capabilities in coping with all kinds of incidents, be it arson, sabotage of electric equipment, or even terrorism. Public awareness on security issues should be increased and safety should always come before convenience, he stressed.The deputy mayor concluded that the City will enforce public security checks and conduct disaster prevention drills before a unified disaster response center is established to ensure safety of the expected influx of visitors during the upcoming Summer Universiade.