Thursday, 12 January 2012

Quake drill article in The Daily Yomiuri on 18th January 2007

Quake drill capital idea for foreigners
By Stephen Taylor / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

As the nation remembered the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, an event to educate and inform foreign companies in the Marunouchi area of Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward of disaster contingency plans should an earthquake hit the capital was held Wednesday.

The Foreigners and Ex-workers Emergency Evacuation Drill was attended by about 50 members of the foreign community, including representatives from financial institutions and foreign embassies, as well as Japanese volunteers that used to work in the area.

The drill was organized by Tokyo Central Station Commuter Corps, a group that aims to provide on-the-spot information before the wheels of government start turning once disaster strikes.

Participants were shown various aspects of survival, such as first aid, emergency food and evacuation sites.

At Meiji Yasuda Plaza hall, the Tokyo Fire Department's Marunouchi station demonstrated the correct use of an automated external defibrillator on a dummy and gave attendees the chance to try it for themselves.

There was a chance to sample dishes made from emergency food rations, such as rice powder and canned fish, and the quality of the food offered at Meiji Yasuda Plaza foyer was very good, especially the minced chicken and seaweed quiche.

Some firms have already stockpiled supplies.

"We've issued staff with individual packs...that gives them enough food and water and provisions for three days," Andrew Holmes, of Nikko Citigroup Ltd. said.

Toilet facilities in any crisis affect everyone, and at one of Chiyoda Ward's evacuation areas, the east area of the Imperial Palace, participants were shown how an improvised device would be fitted over a manhole in the event of an earthquake.

As secretary general of the Commuter Corps, Shigeaki Mori is aware of the need to act quickly in a crisis and stressed the need to take action.

"We are all moving and don't stay in one area. Therefore, we must prepare for such a contingency," he said.

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