• JIJI, Kyodo


The Chiyoda Ward Office accidentally issued a terror alert Saturday urging thousands of Tokyoites to seek safe haven from an impending attack before belatedly issuing a correction over two hours later.

The false alert, sent out at around 9:45 a.m. through its disaster prevention and administrative radio system, said: “A massive terrorist attack is likely to happen in this area. Seek emergency shelter and turn on television or radio.”

The ward broadcast a correction at around noon.

The blunder was blamed on a new part-time employee who touched the warning button on the system by mistake during training, ward officials said.

The alert was sent to around 200 receivers installed at hotels and evacuation sites in the ward plus about 10,000 residents who had registered to receive disaster-related information via email and other means.

Although there were some 20 inquiries about the warning, no major confusion occurred, ward officials said.

An official from the ward’s disaster response and risk-management section said the tardy correction was caused by a lack of managers at the time.