FAQ to Exercise NorthStar
Q1. What is Exercise NorthStar V?
A: Since 1997, the SCDF had
conducted numerous civil emergency exercises involving related
agencies with varied scenarios ranging from air crash to chemical
agent attack incidents.
While the conduct of such exercise is
not new, however Exercise NorthStar V is Singapore＊s first surprise
large-scale civil emergency exercise with 22 participating HomeFront
agencies and involving the disruption of public train services.
Q2. Why is there a need to conduct
such an exercise?
A: The recent multiple terrorist
attacks on the public transport networks in Madrid and London set
the groundwork for Singapore to prepare itself for a similar attack.
However, the conduct of this exercise does not mean
that there is a real threat of an imminent attack on our public
This exercise is part of the on-going
efforts to sharpen the operational readiness of the Homefront
agencies in responding to multiple terror attacks.
It is also to validate the emergency
response system of and coordination between the various government
ministries, agencies, public transport operators and NGOs in a
large-scale, multi-location incident.
Besides, it serves as a good platform to
involve commuters in a move to build their confidence and over time,
to prepare them in knowing how to react in similar crisis
Q3. What is the exercise
A: The scenario for the exercise
is similar to that of the London Bombings on 7 July 05 that is
near-simultaneous bomb blasts in the trains at the station platform
and in the trains traveling into the tunnel.
In addition, a new scenario has been
introduced that is the release of chemical agents at the platform at
one of the stations.
Q4. What is the duration
and exact locations of the exercise?
A: The exercise is about 3
hours, commencing at 6.25am on Sunday, 8th Jan 06 and
ends at 9.30am on the same day.
There are a total of 5 exercise
Dhobby Ghaut Train
Toa Payoh Train Station;
Raffles Place Train
Marina Bay Train Station;
Toa Payoh Bus Interchange.
Q5. Will bus and train services
be disrupted during the exercise and what is the duration of such
A: While the exercise is
confined to only 4 train stations operated by both SBS Transit and
SMRT Corporation however due to the interconnected nature of the
train network, temporarily disruption of train services will affect
a total of 13 train stations.
The 13 stations will be closed
throughout the duration of the exercise that is from 6.25am to
They are namely:
Bus services at the Toa Payoh Bus
Interchange will resume as per normal as only a small section of the
bus interchange is closed during the exercise.
Q6. Why is there a need to
disrupt train services during the exercise?
A: Simulations in the form of
thunderflashes, smoke and fire simulators will be used to create
simultaneous bomb attacks by terrorists so as to inject a realistic
exercise scenario. Apart from dummy mannequins, ＆live＊ casualties
will also be deployed at stations＊ platform and in the trains to
portray injured commuters and fatalities. Trains will also be
stalled within the tunnel and commuters will be evacuated through
the tunnel to the nearest train station.
To facilitate such elaborate scenario
and the conduct of the large-scale exercise, there is a need to
temporarily disrupt train services and close 13 train stations.
Q7. Will commuters who are caught
in the exercise be trapped for a long period of time in the
stalled train or in the train tunnel?
A: Upon the commencement of the
exercise, no commuters will be trapped in the stations, trains or
All commuters who are in the ＆exercised＊
trains and at the stations＊ platform will immediately be guided and
evacuated out of the stations.
For commuters who are in the ＆exercised＊
train/s that are stalled in the tunnel, they will also be
immediately guided to evacuate from the tunnel to the nearest train
As the safety of the commuters is
critical to the conduct of the exercise, personnel from the SCDF and
staff from SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation will be at hand to guide
the commuters in the evacuation process and direct them to the
alternative mode of transportation i.e the shuttle bus services.
Special attention will also be given to pregnant ladies, the
elderly, young children and those who are in need of assistance
during the evacuation process.
Q8. Are the exercise sites
accessible to members of the public?
A: While the commuters in
transit are participating in the exercise as evacuees, the Police
will be exercising strict cordon enforcement at the 4 x train
stations/exercise sites (Dhobby Ghaut, Toa Payoh, Raffles Place
and Marina Bay stations). Hence, members of the public
who are outside these exercised train stations will not be allowed
access into the stations.
Roads within the immediate exercise
vicinity will also be closed to traffic from 6.30am to 9.30am.
a. 1 leftmost lane of Toa Payoh
Lorong 2 towards PIE.
b. 1 leftmost lane of Marina
Station Road and Marina Street closest to Marina Bay MRT Station.
c. 2 leftmost lanes of Orchard
Road after Istana till junction of Oldham Lane.
d. 1 leftmost lane of Church
Street (between Phillip Street and Market
e. 1 leftmost lane stretching
from Battery Road to Church Street.
Q9. Is the public informed of the
exercise upon its commencement?
The exercise date, time and locations have never been
disclosed to the public in order to instill surprise and create a
sense of realism to the entire exercise. However, in order to ensure
public inconveniences is kept to the minimum and to alley undue
public alarm, a series of nation-wide and localized publicity,
announcements and alerts have been carried out.
Since 27 Dec 05, members of the public
have been pre-warned of the upcoming exercise to be held in the
first 2 weeks of Jan 06 by means of print and broadcast local media
reporting as well as exercise posters (in the 4 official languages)
being placed at all train stations and bus interchanges.
On Exercise Day:
On the day of the exercise (8th
Announcements or alerts are continuously
made by the local media in 4 official languages (where applicable)
(6.15 每 6.24)am : MediaCorp TV (crawler message)
and Radio will
inform the public that Ex NorthStar V
will be conducted this morning across the public train network.
> (6.25 每 9.29)am :
MediaCorp TV (teletext), Radio & website and
TV Mobile (in public buses) as well as
SCDF website will inform the public of the:
Duration and locations of
road and stations closure;
temporary disruption to
train services; and
availability of shuttle
> (9.30 每 10.30)am :
MediaCorp TV (crawler message & teletext), Radio & website and TV
Mobile (in public buses) as well as SCDF website will inform the
public of the termination of the exercise and the resumption of the
Localized announcements or alerts have also been arranged with Land
Transport Authority (LTA), SBS Transit, SMRT Corporation and
Ministry of Health (MOH) as follows:
> (6.15 每 9.30)am :
＆Exercise-In-Progress＊ signboards are prominently displayed at:
- all entrances of the 13 train
stations that are
affected by service disruption;
- at the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange: and
- at all participating hospitals and
> (6.15 每 9.29)am : EMAS signboards
will alert motorists traveling
along specific highways to avoid
particular exercise road/s.
> By 6.25am :
Commuters will be alerted to the commencement of the exercise via
the in-train and in-station announcements (in 4 official languages)
as well as text messages appearing in the stations＊ visual passenger
> By 9.30am :
Commuters will be alerted to the termination of the exercise via the
in-train and in-station announcements (in 4 official languages) as
well as text messages appearing in the stations＊ visual passenger
Q10. I am a commuter who is caught in
this surprise exercise and my train ride/
journey is now disrupted, how can I:
make claims with regards
to my travel fare which I had already paid?
resume my journey?
A: (a) For matters
relating to train services, commuters can call 1800-336 8900 (for
those traveling on SMRT train) or 1800- 287-2727 (for those
traveling on SBS Transit train).
(b) Commuters whose journey is
affected by the train service disruption can board the free shuttle
bus services provided by SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation. These
buses are stationed at the bus-stops outside the 13 affected train
stations to shuttle commuters to the next available train station/s
in enabling them to resume their journey with minimum
In facilitating commuters to take this
alternative mode of transportation, SCDF personnel as well as staff
and volunteers (called ＆Goodwill Ambassadors＊) from SBS Transit and
SMRT are deployed and directional signs are put up at the 13
affected stations to guide commuters to the free shuttle bus
services. Notices on the detailed routes of these free shuttle bus
services are also displayed at the affected train stations.
Q11. My office is within the exercise
cordoned area. Can I be allowed to enter my office to complete my
A: During the 3 hours exercise
duration, from 6.25am to 9.30am, Police cordons will be established
and enforced at the 4 x exercise locations (Dhobby Ghaut, Toa
Payoh, Raffles Place and Marina Bay stations) in view of
the exercise coordination and massive activities, which include the
deployment and placement of emergency appliances at these exercise
During this period, when the police
cordon is in place, owners, occupants or tenants of office premises
and commercial buildings within the immediate exercise vicinity may
approach our officers if there is an urgent need to enter these
Toa Payoh MRT DSP Raymond
Chong - 96636930
Marina Bay MRT DSP Rosalind Sam - 98164344
Raffles MRT ASP Wang Jze - 98271359
Dhobby Ghaut MRT ASP How Kwang Hwee - 96750637
The success of this Civil Emergency
Exercise depends not only on the participating agencies but also on
the support rendered by members of the public, especially the
commuters and building occupants and tenants who are inevitably
affected by the exercise. We hereby seek your kind understanding and
deeply appreciate you support and cooperation.
www.mha.gov.sg Press Release 8