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Hoax Radiation SMS About Fukashima Accident Spreads To Shenzhen

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A hoax SMS text message claiming that radiation may hit the Shenzhen, following explosions that have rocked Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, have caused such a problem that authorities in Shenzhen have issued an official denial.

The text of one of the hoaxes that is being spread via SMS messages reads in English and Chinese as follows:

Japan govt confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. If rain comes, remain indoors first 24hrs. Close doors & windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precautions. Radiation may hit southern china at startng 4pm today. Pls send to your loved ones."


日本已经证实核泄露! 现场人员紧急撤离,警告区扩至70km,美军航母撤离,日本向IAEA求援。亚洲地区的居民应采取必要措施。在出现下雨的24小时内待在家里,并关闭所有的门窗。穿能遮盖全身的衣物,并一定要遮盖脖子,辐射会第一时间命中甲状腺。请采取积极的额外防护措施。”

This is a fake message that originated in the Philippines. The BBC has issued no such news flash and has published a statement asking people not to believe the hoax:

    "The advice circulating that people should stay indoors and to wear raincoats if they go outdoors has no basis and did not come from DOST or the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center."

According to some media reports, workers at some companies and school children were sent home after the rumours began to spread.

“I got the message over my blackberry from family. I am In the Shenzhen, so it spreads quite fast. By the way, putting Iodine or Betadine on your neck will not protect you from any radiation sickness.”  One worker named Windy said in this way.

Readers  will be all too aware of the nuisance that can be caused by passing on hoax warnings about virus threats, and how technology has made it all too easy to pass on scares without checking facts.

It seems the problem is even more severe when the scare is not about a malware attack, but about a radiation health scare instead.

Click here to Fukushima radiation hoax SMS message spreads in Philippines

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