A fake text message warning people that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked beyond Japan has been panicking people across Asia.The Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines has also debunked the rumour. A March 14 article on abs-cbnNEWS notes:
The SMS message, purporting to come from the BBC, has been circulating around Asian countries since Monday.
It warns people to take necessary precautions against possible effects of radiation.
The BBC has issued no such flash but the hoax has caused particular panic in the Philippines.
There is no truth to text rumors that radiation from a nuclear plant in Japan has reached the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Monday.And a March 15 Press Release issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) notes:
DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI)'s routine daily radiation monitoring in the environment showed the level of radiation in the environment in the country has remained stable since the Fukushima incident in Japan.
"The advice that people should stay indoors and to wear raincoats if they go outdoors did not come from DOST or any agency member of the National Disaster Coordinating Council," the DOST said in a statement.
The department also advised the public not to believe rumors currently spreading through text messages, emails, the Internet, and other means of communication.
"DOST emphasizes that there is no immediate danger of nuclear radiation in the Philippines," it said.
The meteorological conditions in the accident region have so far been mainly off-shore, that is the winds have been dispersing materials introduced into the atmosphere from the accident site toward the open ocean, i.e., toward the northeast and to the east of the NPP at Fukushima. These conditions will fluctuate as weather systems develop and progress in the region over the coming period.Moreover, the advice in the message to swab with betadine to avoid radiation sickness is utterly useless. Another abs-cbnNEWS article notes:
Swabbing Betadine antiseptic on the throat is useless to prevent radiation illness, a Department of Health (DOH) official said Tuesday.The ongoing nuclear emergency in Japan is certainly extremely serious. Authorities around the world are closely monitoring the situation. However, spreading misinformation about the threat is counterproductive. The earthquake disaster in Japan and the subsequent nuclear emergency have been extensively and continuously reported by news outlets around the world. Before passing on a radiation related warning, please take the time to check, via credible news reports, if the information in the message is factual and up-to-date. Perpetrating bogus warnings about the disaster will serve only to spread unnecessary fear and alarm and make an already dire situation that much worse.
"Putting Betadine on the throat is useless. Betadine is used for treating wounds. It has nothing to do with radioactivity," Dr. Agnette Peralta, head of the DOH-Bureau of Health Devices and Technology, told abs-cbnNEWS.com.
Last updated: 16th March 2011
First published: 16th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer