Evacuation Drill in Naha Simulates Ballistic Missile Attack

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Participants sit and crouch while protecting their heads with their hands during an evacuation drill in Naha on Saturday.

NAHA — An evacuation drill was held Saturday in Naha to prepare residents for a possible attack from a ballistic missile, the second such drill in Okinawa Prefecture following one in Yonaguni in November.

With discussions on strengthening defense capabilities in the Nansei Islands underway, more comprehensive exercises have been conducted in the prefecture in preparation for possible contingencies.

The drill was jointly conducted by the central government, the prefecture and the city.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday, an announcement was made over an official radio system for disaster preparedness in Naha’s Mekaru district urging people to evacuate, whereupon 83 residents who were outside sheltered themselves in the underground parking lot of a nearby building.

The residents sat and crouched down by a wall and covered their heads with their hands as part of the drill until an all-clear announcement that the danger had passed.

Naha city officials confirmed their initial actions before a task force meeting was held at the city hall.

“It is the role of local authorities to raise citizens’ awareness of contingency preparedness,” Naha Mayor Satoru Chinen said after the drill.