Japan launches annual quake relief drill

20:23, September 01, 2010      

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The Japanese government carried out emergency earthquake drills in many parts of the country on Wednesday, marking the nation's "Disaster Prevention Day."

This year, the government had assumed a scenario where an 8.7- magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of western Wakayama Prefecture and simultaneously triggered two similarly powerful quakes along the Pacific coast.

The Cabinet members held a mock emergency meeting at the premier's office, and Prime Minister Naoto Kan called on the public to act calmly against the disaster.

The prime minister later went to a drill in the coastal city of Ito in Shizuoka Prefecture where he worked as a stretcher-bearer and helped carry sandbags with local high school students.

Hundreds of local people gathered at an empty playground in the hot spring resort city to learn such skills as how to put out fires, set up temporary toilets, and help the injured on the assumption that the city was hit by a huge tsunami. People were also able to experience the mock earthquakes in a special vehicle.

Drills were also organized in places including the Tokyo Bay. The number of participants in quake relief drills across the nation totaled 678,000, according to the Cabinet Office.

Japan holds annual quake relief drills across the nation on Sept. 1 to commemorate the 7.9-magnitude Great Kanto Earthquake on Sept. 1, 1923. The disaster killed an estimated 91,000 people in Tokyo and its surrounding areas.

Source: Xinhua


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