Hoax BBC text messages are claiming that radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has begun spreading in the Philippines.
Authorities in Manila were obliged to issue an official denial over the SMS messages, which are entirely bogus. The put-up messages (extract below) advise recipients to stay indoors, and to start taking unnecessary medical precautions.
BBC Flashnews: Japan gov’t confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. Remain indoors first 24hours. Close doors and windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precaution, radiation may hit Philippines.
The supposed news flash is reckoned to be the work of pranksters, whose actions forced the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology to put out a statement designed to quell public fears.
“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,” it said.
The rumour was plausible enough for some companies and schools to start sending people home, net security firm Sophos reports.