Over 80% failed to evacuate or take protection measures after receiving North Korean missile alerts: survey


The majority of those informed of North Korean ballistic missile launches on both Aug. 29 and Sept. 15, through the J-Alert warning system or from other sources, were unable to evacuate or take other protective measures, a government survey showed Wednesday.

Only 5-16 percent of respondents said they took measures to protect themselves from the missiles.

Given the results, the government plans to strengthen efforts to raise awareness of the need to evacuate in the event of a missile launch. The August and September missiles fired by North Korea fell into the Pacific Ocean after passing over Hokkaido.

The survey was conducted online and through questionnaires distributed in the 12 prefectures where the J-Alert warnings were issued.

The rate among online respondents who evacuated stood at 5 percent in both August and September, while 94 percent did not or were unable to evacuate. The rate among those who answered via paper questionnaires came to 12 percent in August and 16 percent in September.

The government advises people to go indoors, go underground or lie flat on the ground while protecting their heads when J-Alert warnings are issued.

But 28 to 39 percent of respondents who did not evacuate said that they do not know where to evacuate, and 37 to 46 percent called evacuation attempts meaningless.

On its civil protection portal site, the government has posted a message stressing the need for people to evacuate in order to protect themselves from the missile blast and resulting fragmentation.

The government has also compiled evacuation manuals in English, Chinese and Korean.