Taiwan ‘prophet’ faces fine over apocalypse warning

2011-04-28 11:20

Taiwanese authorities have threatened to fine a self-proclaimed prophet unless he removes remarks from his blog predicting an “apocalyptic quake” that triggered panic preparations among numerous followers.

“Issuing unauthorised forecasts on earthquakes is punishable by a fine” of up to 1 million Taiwan dollars (about R220 000), Lin Yeu-woo, a weather bureau spokesperson, told reporters.

Dozens of Taiwanese have reportedly rushed to prepare makeshift shelters in central Taiwan after the man, known only as “Teacher Wang“, alleged that a huge earthquake and tsunami would destroy the island next month.

About 170 shelters converted from cargo containers are currently being built in Puli, Nantou county, after Wang wrote on his blog that millions of people would die when the disasters strike on May 11, the Apple Daily reported.

Wang advised people to stay in cargo containers, which he said would be safer than regular buildings, the paper said, also quoting construction workers as saying that they were rushing to finish by early May.

A local township official told AFP the authorities cannot intervene with the construction project since “people have the right to build houses on a piece of land they legally rented”.

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