Govt. Conducts Nationwide Blackout Drill
This is what would happen at hospitals in the event of a power outage.
A state of emergency is declared, with patients being moved to other locations.
The Korean government held its first-ever nationwide training exercise for blackouts on Thursday, in response to the country's electricity reserves falling below the nation's threshold of four-million kilowatts earlier this month.
The government is looking ahead to possible power shortages in July and August, when temperatures and electricity usage are at their highest.
[Interview : Cho Jong-man, General Manager of Electric Power Control Center
Korea Power Exchange] "The reason we struggled during last year's blackout was because there was a lack of communication. Throughout this drill, we hope to strengthen the communication channel between the government and other related institutions and to raise public awareness."
The 20-minute drill began at 2 p.m. and was conducted in two stages.
The first siren warned that electricity reserves had fallen below two million kilowatts, and emergency response training was carried out at some offices, subway stations and hospitals.
About ten minutes into the drill, another siren went off, warning that electricity reserves had dipped below the emergency level of one-million kilowatts.
In response, power in 28 selected buildings across the nation was cut off.
Thursday's drill was reviewed positively.
[Interview : Youn Chun-song, Professor
School of Medicine at Catholic Univ. of Korea] "Because of the drill, our hospital came up with a manual to prepare for a blackout. We followed the manual and I think it's now important to review it regularly and update it. In that sense, the training was a success."
Power consumption during Thursday's drill fell by around five million kilowatts to 62-million kilowatts.
The drill not only tested the nation's ability to deal with power shortages, but also raised public awareness.
[Reporter : Hwang Sung-hee
email@example.com] "The government says public participation is vital in preventing another blackout this year, and has asked the public to limit the use of electronic devices and air conditioners from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., when the demand for electricity is at its highest.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."
Reporter : firstname.lastname@example.org