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Japanese Earthquake Drills


Title: Disaster Drills For Foreigners
Date:
January 20, 2009
Source:
Japan Today

Abstract:
Foreigners take part in an earthquake drill for foreign residents conducted at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Tuesday. In the drill organized by the Tokyo metropolitan government, about 160 foreigners from more than 40 countries learned emergency aid, how to use fire extinguishers and survival techniques with instructions by volunteer interpreters, police officers and firefighters. Officials from foreign embassies, students at Japanese-language schools and other foreign residents participated (Japan Today, 2009).

Title: Tokyo Earthquake Drill
Date:
February 4, 2012
Source:
Japan Today

Abstract:
Isetan department store employees assigned to evacuation management shout instructions as an earthquake alert is announced during a drill at the store in Tokyo on Friday. The metropolitan government conducted a disaster drill for commuters at three major railway stations and the department store on Friday (Japan Today, 2012).

Title: SDF, U.S. Military Team Up For Tokyo Quake Response Drills
Date:
July 17, 2012
Source:
Japan Today

Abstract:
Japan’s Self-Defense Force and the U.S. military are cooperating for the first time to perform earthquake response drills inTokyo all this week.

The drills, which started Monday and continue until Friday, involve around 5,000 military personnel, firefighters and police officers, according to Sankei Shimbun. The drills are intended to familiarize participants with evacuation routes and supply distribution methods that could help save lives in the event of a large earthquake taking place directly under the capital.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says that one of the aims of the drills is to ensure that U.S. military personnel and Japanese
Self-Defense Force members’ roles are clearly delineated and responsibilities shared, to save time on organization in the event of
a disaster, Sankei reported.

The Tokyo University Earthquake Research Institute has reported that it believes there is a 70% chance that an earthquake of
magnitude 7 will occur directly beneath Tokyo within four years
(Japan Today, 2012).

Title: Tepco Holds First Tokyo Quake Drill Since 3/11
Date:
July 31, 2012
Source:
Japan Times

Abstract:
Tokyo Electric Power Co. carried out an earthquake drill Monday to prepare for the chaos that will erupt when a major temblor hits the capital.

The exercise, usually carried out each year, has been suspended since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit on March 11, 2011, triggering three core meltdowns at Tepco's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The event brought together some 300 Tepco representatives, including President Naomi Hirose and Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe, who both took office in June.

Participants practiced their responses to a hypothetical quake logged at upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 that strikes below Koto Ward in central Tokyo.

The scenario assumes quake-induced damage to thermal power plants, power transmission facilities and substations in many places in the greater Tokyo area.

Heat Fells Pair at No. 1
The nationwide heat wave knocked out two workers at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant Sunday who were removing debris, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The two — one in his 30s and the other in his 50s — are in stable condition, the utility said, adding that special cooling clothing worn under their radiation suits failed to work.

In the nearby town of Namie, the mercury peaked at 33.3 degrees Sunday (Japan Times, 2012).

Title: Nationwide Earthquake Drill Helps Japan Prepare For The Worst
Date:
September 2, 2012
Source:
Digital Journal

Abstract:
On the 89th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake, Japan held nationwide earthquake readiness drills as part of their Disaster Prevention Day. The drills were based on the scenario of a magnitude 7.3 earthquake striking northern Tokyo Bay.

The drills were designed to help prepare officials, citizens and various agencies for a worst case scenario if a major earthquakes struck the Tokyo area. The drills were a joint effort by Yokohama, Tokyo and seven other nearby municipalities which simulated an earthquake centered in the Tokyo area. Another drill was held to prepare for any potential major earthquake that the southwestern Japan region of Nankai Trough according to Xinhuanet.com.

The Japan Times reports 387,000 people participated in the drills. Those participating included government officials, residents in Tokyo and 39 other prefectures and the US Air Force, which teamed up with Japan's Self-Defense Forces to practice logistic support plans. The drills come after the Japanese government reported Wednesday that an estimated 323,000 people could be killed if a 9.0 earthquake occurred, Japan Today reports.

On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 earthquake hit Japan. The earthquake and ensuing tsunami left an estimated 19,000 dead or missing. That same earthquake caused a meltdown of reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant. A Bloomberg report says that more than 340,000 people are still living in temporary homes since that earthquake and tsunami struck. Of the 22.5 tons of debris resulting from the disaster, only 6 percent has been removed from the affected areas.

Daily Yomiuri quotes Nobuyuki Kobayashi, a participant in the drill, as saying, "If roads and telecommunications are severed, we can't save lives that would otherwise be saved. That's why it's important to carry out drills using a helicopter."

Tsuneko Sato, another drill participant, said, "Because another tsunami advisory warning was issued last night [due to a strong earthquake occurring off the Philippines], I was so worried I couldn't go to sleep."

Isao Nakagawa, a resident of Meguro Ward who took part in the drills, expressed concern over citizens ability to handle the practiced scenario should it become a reality. The Japan Times quotes him as saying, "I wonder if we'll be able to act as calmly as we did today if a real quake strikes. When such a day comes, firefighters won't be here to guide us and we'll have to help each other to extinguish the fires."

He went on to say he and his neighbors are rethinking their current disaster plans, pointing out "There are no fire hydrants on the street where I live. so it would be extremely difficult to extinguish a fire. We need to hold discussions and consider the best way to prepare for a disaster" (Digital Journal, 2012).