More than half of Tokyo’s residents are disturbed by the thought of the next Great Kanto Earthquake striking the capital, a police survey showed Thursday.
Some 94.3 percent of Tokyoites polled expressed some form of concern over a disastrous earthquake and tsunami devastating the capital, and 52.5 percent strongly feared such a scenario, according to the survey.
The Metropolitan Police Department survey covered 2,561 residents who visited police offices in Tokyo last October for license renewals.
On disaster preparation, 82.8 percent of respondents said they had bought flashlights in anticipation of a massive temblor striking Tokyo, while 66.1 percent said they had purchased radios and 65.1 percent drinkable water, according to the metropolitan police.
If the next Great Kanto Earthquake strikes when the respondents are not at home, 44.5 percent said they would return home at any cost and 45.4 percent said they would not.
Yokohama Station drill
The first tsunami drill at Yokohama Station was held Thursday morning to prepare for the next megaquake to strike the Kanto region, with 500 people participating.
The Kanagawa Prefectural Government estimates that tsunami as high as 4 meters may smash into the port of Yokohama and flood the prefecture’s biggest railway station in the event of such a disaster.
The drill was based on a scenario in which a massive temblor rocks Yokohama and triggers an imminent tsunami at a time when about 20,000 people are in or around the station. Those taking part included police officers, railway employees, and workers at underground shopping malls at or near the station.
Following an announcement shortly before 9 a.m. that a tsunami warning had been issued, evacuees from underground malls climbed up to ground level, where police officers and railroad officials guided them to nearby high-rise buildings and to parks on higher ground.
When last March’s earthquake struck off Tohoku’s coast, the 9.0-magnitude temblor brought all train services terminating at Yokohama Station to a halt and forced about 12,000 people to evacuate to nearby facilities.