Saturday, September 15, 2012

SCDF islandwide sounding of the sirens on 15 September

For those who still do not know what were those loud sirens islandwide today (September 15 2012) for about 1 minute, they were Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) controlled warning sirens called Public Warning System. Singapore currently has a network of over 2000 stationary such sirens which warn the entire country of war air raids, man-made and natural disasters (except earth tremors). According to Wikipedia, On the first day of every month Singapore's sirens are tested. During the test, the sirens sounds a light but cheerful chime instead of any of its three signals, which led to the population's speculations of the sirens reminding them of the start of each month. The sirens look very similar to the Israel version pictured on the right.[1]

According to media The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has sounded the "Important Message" signal through its island-wide network of Public Warning System (PWS) sirens on SCDF Day on Saturday at 12.05pm:

"Members of the public are advised not to be alarmed by the minute-long sounding exercise. When the signal is sounded, members of the public can immediately tune in to any local radio station to listen to an important message broadcast by SCDF."[2]

The "Important Message" signal is a pulsating blasts sounded to alert the people of important messages broadcast by Singapore FM radio stations. This is the most used signal as to celebrate Total Defence and Civil Defence Days in Singapore.[3] Well I saw some people looking up as if they were expecting to see alien spacecrafts (I may be watching too much Hollywood alien movie).   Thus far, the siren network has only been used for occasional public awareness drills, monthly noon chimes and for commemorating the island's Total Defence (February 15) and Civil Defence Days (September 15)[3]. In the below video, you can hear Islandwide sounding of the scdf sirens on 15 September 2009 (starts around 0:45)

Islandwide sounding of the scdf sirens on 15 September

Public Warning System has 2 more signals. Alarm signal is a wailing blasts that warn people of a danger or threat and it means for them to move a SCDF air raid shelter. Used only once on the island's Total Defence Day in 2006. And there is also All clear signal which is a continuous blasts of a clear sound to allow the people to move out of the shelter if the threat is over.[3]

[1] - Civil defense siren (Singapore)
[2] - SCDF to sound Public Warning System sirens on Saturday
[3] -

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