Ward plans disaster maps for commuters’ walk home

by Reiji Yoshida

A magnitude-7 earthquake on a workday in the capital would strand an estimated 6.5 million commuters due to the ensuing transportation paralysis.

Because so many would be unable to get home, Minato Ward plans to hold a four-day event next week to prepare residents for such a disaster.

From Tuesday to Friday, the ward will provide custom maps for free to Kanto region commuters at a special tent outside JR Shinbashi Station. Commuters can use the maps to find the shortest way home on foot.

Using the home and workplace addresses of each applicant, Minato officials will use special software to create maps showing the shortest routes and print them out. The details will be spelled out on seven to eight sheets of paper and include landmarks and the names of major intersections, said Shigeyasu Kimura, the official in charge of the ¥20 million event.

General advice and other useful information in Japanese will also be attached to the map.