Japan to Equip Elevators with Portable Toilets, Water Supply
TOKYO, June 3 (UPI) — Elevators in Tokyo may soon come equipped with portable toilets and water bottles.
The Japanese government and representatives of Japan’s elevator industry have agreed on a new safety protocol in preparation for emergencies in the event of an earthquake, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.
The new requirement means elevators throughout Japan, but especially in the Tokyo metropolitan area would include portable toilets and beverages.
The announcement comes after an 8.1-magnitude earthquake recently hit islands south of Japan’s capital, around 621 miles south of Tokyo.
The Saturday quake caused 19,000 elevators to stop in the Tokyo area, according to Japan’s infrastructure ministry on Tuesday. The cause is likely to have been power outages that affected 600 homes around the area.
People were held captive in 14 elevators, and in one case a rescue team did not arrive for 70 minutes.
Shizuoka prefecture, home to Japan’s symbolic Fuji mountain, was also in the middle of introducing new training programs, reported South Korean news agency Yonhap.
Experts fear the volcanic mountain could erupt mid-July and preventive training is already taking place on three hiking trails and at the summit of the mountain, in case an emergency evacuation becomes necessary.
Evacuation is to take place when the volcano alert level at Mount Fuji reaches 3, according to Yonhap.