TOKYO –For the people trapped by the nation’s frequent powerful earthquakes, Japan is looking at making toilets in the elevators and to provide an emergency supply of drinking water.
This was decided after many of the people were left high and dry for many hours when a quake hits Tokyo with a magnitude 7.8 on Saturday that stopped elevators.
According to an official from Association of Elevator Makers, meetings between officials from the infrastructure ministry and elevator industry bodies have agreed on providing toilets that can be used in emergency.
Most of the lifts automatically halted at the nearest floor and opened their doors but 14 were stranded between storeys.
People were trapped temporarily in 14 elevators and it took 70 minutes to rescue them in one case, ministry and industry officials said.
With the growing rate of Japanese elder people, many of the recently installed lifts have small seating areas.
The government estimates that the next earthquake would be a big one as seismologists say and it will surely hit the capital in the coming decade.
It is pertinent to mention here that Japan has around 620,000 elevators in public or commercial buildings nationwide, about 20 percent of which are in Tokyo.
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