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Police to build disaster prediction system to prevent recurrence of Itaewon tragedy

National 14:32 January 27, 2023

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Police said Friday they will build a state-of-the-art disaster prediction system with an aim to prevent large-scale disasters, such as the crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon district last year.

Under a set of measures announced by the National Police Agency (NPA), various programs utilizing new technology will be implemented to enhance the nation's capability to predict and prevent disasters.

First, a system will be implemented to detect the volume of 112 emergency hotline calls, such as repeated calls from a certain area in a short period of time, the NPA said.

The system will also utilize various data, including 112 emergency calls, traffic volume and crowd volume, to alert local police and fire departments so as to ensure an emergency response.

Also, the NPA will assign higher ranking officers to be in charge of the 112 emergency hotline.

The measure comes after two police officers who were in charge of the police's 112 emergency hotline in Seoul and Yongsan Ward covering the Itaewon district were referred to prosecution for their alleged bungled response to the Itaewon tragedy.

The NPA said it will also actively push to revise a relevant law governing the 112 emergency hotline so that the agency can activate an evacuation order when the imminent risk of disaster is detected.

This undated image shows the National Police Agency building in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This undated image shows the National Police Agency building in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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