About 4,000 participants took part in a large-scale earthquake drill in Tokyo's Shibuya district on Tuesday, including overseas tourists who were evacuated in preparation for a possible emergency.

During the drill, jointly held by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Shibuya Municipal Government, a smartphone translation app with multilingual capability was used for the first time.

Based on a scenario in which a magnitude-7.3 earthquake with an epicenter in northern Tokyo Bay struck the capital, participants at the "Center Gai" main street near JR Shibuya Station were urged to act calmly, with the information translated into English and Chinese on their smartphones.

There were also instructions posted in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean on a large screen television at a crossing in front of Shibuya Station, leading participants to a temporary evacuation space.

Many people, including commuters and students, could be stranded in the capital in the event of a massive earthquake. It is estimated that over 5 million people in the metropolitan area were unable to get home on March 11, 2011, when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake hit northeastern Japan because of disruptions to public transport.

Liu Linhua, 30, a university student from China, said the Chinese instructions were very helpful as it would be disconcerting to experience an earthquake without knowing the local language.