National

Large-scale earthquake drill held at 2020 Olympic venues in Tokyo

Kyodo

A large-scale safety drill for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was held for the first time Thursday at competition venues in Tokyo to prepare for the possibility of a major earthquake during the event.

Police officers, firefighters and Self-Defense Forces personnel joined the drill held by the organizing committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre and other venues to ensure the safety of spectators in case a quake strikes.

The drill was based on the assumption that a quake with a maximum reading on the Japanese seismic intensity scale hits the metropolitan area at 9:15 a.m. on July 26 next year, when events are scheduled to be held at 20 venues.

During the simulation at the gymnastics center, Japanese and English announcements were made to call on spectators to be calm and protect themselves, while firefighters talked to injured people to determine the severity of their wounds in order to prioritize treatment.

Metropolitan government officials, meanwhile, escorted about 150 people who were outside the venue to a nearby park that has been designated as a temporary evacuation site.

Wheelchair users also took part in the drill, while those with visual impairments linked arms with the officials to evacuate.

Water was handed out to the evacuees with the assumption that the sun would be out and temperatures would be high.

At a disaster management meeting held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, related agencies reported on their relief efforts and shared information on the simulated disaster.

“I would like everyone to do everything possible to handle the situation and to offer support to both domestic and overseas visitors,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told the participants.