For the first time residents in Northern Japan have taken part in an evacuation drill for a missile launch

People in Oga City, Akita Prefecture, have taken part in an evacuation drill for a missile launch. The Japanese government says this is the first exercise of its kind. The drill follows the recent test-firing of 4 ballistic missiles by North Korea.

Friday’s exercise was organized by the central government, Akita Prefecture and Oga City on the assumption that a missile had fallen into Japan’s territorial waters off the northeastern prefecture. The drill began in the morning under the scenario that a ballistic missile had been launched from a foreign country. The government relayed the initial report of the launch to the prefecture and the city via the J-ALERT nationwide emergency warning system. The city’s crisis-management section relayed the warning by phone to the designated evacuation sites of a community center and an elementary school. About 2 minutes after the initial information was received, the J-ALERT system urged residents to take refuge inside buildings. People were told to evacuate immediately through a wireless public address system. About 50 residents of a coastal district took part in the drill. Those who were outdoors when they heard the warning went to the community center. A 77-year-old resident said the exercise will help him to prepare for an emergency. About 50 children at an elementary school near the community center also took part. They followed instructions and evacuated to a gymnasium.

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