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Defense Warning Signals to Be Tested
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Shanghai is to hold a major air raid drill this Saturday, National Defense Education Day, the municipal civil defense office announced yesterday.

The drill, for the first time conducted simultaneously in five districts and counties in the city since 1949, aims to examine the status of warning facilities and raise public awareness about national and civil defense.

"The testing work is a necessity for regular checks and further improvement of the whole warning system, and it will help citizens recognize different kinds of sirens," Liu Nanshan, director of the office, said.

Citizens can listen to an example of the sirens on the office's website ( They can also find detailed information on how to react to the sirens.

Test well timed

The test will be conducted from 10am to 10:23am next Friday in Pudong District (except the airport areas), Jinshan District, Nanhui District, Fengxian District and Chongming Island. The neighboring eight districts and counties will also be able to hear the sirens.

The 23-minute drill will be divided into three stages: Precautionary signals, emergency signals and disarming signals. Precautionary signals will be sent out for 36 seconds each time and be repeated three times; emergency signals will be sent out in six second bursts and repeated 15 times; disarming signals will be sent for three minutes continuously.

Local governments over the county level are advised to organize trial air raid warnings on this day, according to the nation's Civil Air Defense Law.

Many cities in China have started testing their warning systems in recent years. Cities like Nanjing in Jiangsu Province and Hefei in Anhui Province have set a fixed date for the test every year.

Shanghai conducted small-scale air raid drills between 2000 and 2002.

"From now on, Shanghai will test the air raid sirens every year. We will extend the test to other districts and conduct more air defense drills in the future," Liu said.

(China Daily September 13, 2007)

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