by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 1, 2011
Japan on Thursday conducted its first national earthquake drill since the March 11 disasters that left 20,000 dead or missing and triggered a nuclear crisis.
Police supervised traffic at some 100 points in central Tokyo while passengers were guided to safe zones from train stations in a simulation of a post-quake scenario in which all rail and subway services are suspended.
Announcements warning passengers that tests were taking place throughout the day were made in stations, while 1,500 people took part in a drill in the morning on the roof of a Tokyo department store.
Disaster Prevention Day is an annual exercise to train for a potentially deadly magnitude-7.3 quake scenario in Tokyo and is held to commemorate the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 105,000.
"The country and local governments should reconsider the conventional disaster prevention measures and prepare for every possible scenario of earthquakes and tsunami," the government's cabinet office said.
"Especially in terms of tsunami measures, they need to raise people's disaster prevention awareness and take all possible, comprehensive measures, including evacuation of residents."
Chubu Electric Power, which runs the Hamaoka nuclear plant on the Pacific coast in Shizuoka, central Japan, tested communications in a simulation of a plant power loss in the event of a tsunami.
The surging waves triggered by the March quake crippled backup cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which led to reactor meltdowns, explosions and the release of radiation into the environment.
Tens of thousands remain evacuated from homes, farms and businesses in a 20 kilometre (12 mile) radius around the stricken plant.
Throughout Japan, about 517,000 people were scheduled to take part in the drills.
But many areas hit by the March disaster, including Fukushima, cancelled their participation with residents still struggling to recover from the March calamity, officials said.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Warning call of the wild: US zoo animals sensed quake
Washington (AFP) Aug 25, 2011
Many animals at the National Zoo in Washington sensed the rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the US east coast before it struck and began to behave strangely, zoo officials said. The epicenter of the surprise quake was located in a small Virginia town 134 kilometers (84 miles) southwest of the US capital. Despite the distance, the zoo's red-ruffed lemurs "sounded an alarm call abou ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|