National

Toranomon Hills complex conducts Tokyo disaster drill

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

A major commercial complex in Tokyo opened its doors to hypothetical disaster victims Friday to test its staff’s ability to handle a citywide emergency.

The exercise took place at Mori Building Co.’s new Toranomon Hills complex, where commuters might seek shelter and sustenance in the event they are unable to get home because the transport network has collapsed.

Conducted a day before the 20th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, it was the first drill of its kind held at the swanky office and shopping complex since it opened in June. The building can accommodate up to 3,600 people with food, air mattresses and thermal blankets in its conference rooms and shopping mall.

Mori Building Co. made an agreement with Minato Ward to house stranded commuters in emergencies. It struck a similar agreement at its Roppongi Hills complex.

The drill took place in the morning, with about 100 Mori Building employees participating.

“Since we have an agreement (with the ward), it is our mission to carry it out, so we need to train ourselves to be ready to accept people if something happens,” said emergency team leader Kanoko Iwahara.

“Also, this facility is a landmark around here, so I think people are probably thinking that they would be safe if they come here. We need to live up to that expectation,” she said.

About 40 staffers formed four teams with different roles: directing arriving people, taking care of the injured and collecting and distributing emergency rations.

If the national power grid fails, Toranomon Hills has enough fuel to run a generator for about 100 hours. It also stores enough emergency food to provide 3,600 people with three meals a day for three days, Mori Building said.

Because it would be hard for Mori Building’s staffers alone to handle the task of looking after so many people, the builder expects to recruit volunteers among them to help out.

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