A view of the emptied streets in downtown Taipei during an annual air raid drill.
Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) The Taipei City government on Thursday encouraged residents to download an app that can be used to search the locations of the city's 5,000-plus air raid shelters.
Cheng Ta-chuan (鄭大川), a spokesman for the city's Building Administration Office, said Taipei currently has 5,771 air raid shelters, which can accommodate 12.87 million people, more than five times the city's population.
The number includes 1,417 public shelters that are located in government buildings, schools, office buildings, underground malls and parking lots, while 4,354 of the shelters are in privately owned buildings, Cheng said.
In the event of an air raid drill or outbreak of war, the shelters would be opened to the public, on a directive from the Ministry of National Defense, he said.
Taipei residents can find the nearest available shelter, and directions for getting there, by downloading the Taipei City Police Department app (北市警政), which is only in Chinese currently, according to Cheng.
Meanwhile, a complete list of air raid shelters nationwide, catalogued by municipality, can be found on the website of the National Police Agency's Civil Defense Office.
The Taipei City announcement was made shortly before China on Thursday launched a series of live-fire military drills in six maritime areas near Taiwan, which are expected to last until Sunday, following a visit by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei earlier this week.
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