Emergency management system possibly attacked by hackers
As disaster prevention agencies around Taiwan have been vigilant against the impacts of the approaching Typhoon Soudelor, the emergency management information system of the Central Emergency Operation Center was down for nearly three hours Friday, and the center could not eliminate the possibility of a hacker attack.
The Central Emergency Operation Center set up at the National Fire Agency under the Ministry of the Interior requires local governments to report to the center the local storm and rainfall situation as well as any damage to their districts through the information system.
At around 11 a.m. Friday, the system was found unstable and half an hour later, the government portal (portal.emic.gov.tw) was not accessible.
An official of the center said that they could not eliminate the possibility of a hacker attack, though it was also possible that it was a problem with the server or transmission process.
It was the first time that the system has been continuously down for so many hours, but fortunately the database was not damaged, he added.
Before the system was restored at 2:10 p.m., the center used phone, fax and email to contact emergency units around the country, according to the official.
Military to Aid Evacuation
The military said Friday that it would mobilize servicemen to help evacuate residents in disaster-prone areas in Eastern Taiwan, as approaching Typhoon Soudelor threatens to dump heavy rainfall and bring strong winds around Taiwan beginning later in the day.
The Ministry of National Defense said in a statement that it has opened an emergency center and has more than 35,000 servicemen placed on standby to provide any necessary relief and rescue assistance.
The military has helped place 1,200 sandbags in the eastern county of Yilan in response to possible flooding, the ministry said, adding that soldiers would be dispatched to help evacuate residents in disasterprone areas of Yilan and neighboring Hualien County in eastern Taiwan later Friday.
A total of 15 planes, 420 water pumps and 146 inflatable boats are also ready to be dispatched as needed, the ministry said.
The ministry said, meanwhile, more than 3,000 military vehicles and equipment can be made available for rescues.
The Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for Typhoon Soudelor Thursday night, warning of strong gusts and heavy rainfall as the storm is expected to pummel the island late Friday and Saturday.
Wind and rain are expected to pick up in eastern and northeastern Taiwan Friday afternoon as Soudelor nears, and southern Taiwan will feel the storm’s full impact Saturday, the bureau said.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall in Eastern Taiwan in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A screenshot of the Central Emergency Operation Center’s emergency management information system is shown in the picture taken yesterday. All local weather conditions as well as damage reports will be relayed to the central management system.