TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While Americans are facing the need to evacuate their homes because of a monster hurricane, Japan is working on the type of evacuation the U.S. has forgotten about since the end of the Cold War. Fearing use of nuclear weapons by North Korea, Japan is preparing for a mass evacuation of 60,000 citizens from South Korea.
There are about 38,000 Japanese long-term residents in South Korea, and 19,000 tourists or other short-term travelers. A range of responses includes discouraging travel to South Korea; urging persons already there to leave on commercial flights; and asking the U.S. Navy to help evacuate residents by sea in the event of airport closures.
In the event of a worst case scenario, Seoul has agreed to give Japanese citizens access to safe zones, such as designated subway stations, churches and shopping malls, according to a Japanese source. The Japanese government has already provided its citizens in South Korea with information on over 900 such facilities.
In response to North Korea's nuclear program, China has commissioned two more border radiation-monitoring stations. Over the past several years, China steadily expanded its radiation monitoring and nuclear emergency response facilities. A total of 38 automated stations are set up to monitor radiation from North Korea, including 13 on the border, according to the Environment Ministry's website. These are purportedly for monitoring potential fallout from North Korea's nuclear testing.
"The tests are conducted deep underground and extremely unlikely to release significant contamination," stated Physicians for Civil Defense president Jane M. Orient, M.D. "However, there is also the risk of an actual detonation over South Korea, Japan, or Guam."
Noting that North Korean warheads could also target U.S. cities, Dr. Orient contrasted Asian preparedness efforts with those in the U.S.:
- The U.S. has evacuation plans for hurricanes and extensive capability to track the storm. Cold War evacuation scenarios depended on an early warning network for an Impending attack and a system of sirens, tested weekly in Tucson and other cities, and an emergency broadcasting system. Today, a nuclear attack could come with minimal, if any warning.
- Markings for public radiation shelters in the U.S. vanished long ago, along with the program for identifying and stocking such shelters. Neither emergency managers nor citizens have training in requirements for adequate shelter.
- The U.S. radiation monitoring system is deplorably poor, despite the availability of excellent, affordable technology.
"Adequate preparedness can't wait to start two days before hurricane landfall," stated Dr. Orient. "And delaying nuclear preparedness until the first explosion over a city will, in the best case, spell thousands or millions of preventable casualties."
Physicians for Civil Defense distributes information to help to save lives in the event of war or other disaster.
Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, email@example.com
SOURCE Physicians for Civil Defense