Tokyo Police Conduct Traffic Control Drill Assuming Quake

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Tokyo, Nov. 21 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department conducted on Sunday a traffic control drill assuming that a powerful earthquake has occurred directly under the Tokyo area and registered 7, the highest level on Japan's seismic intensity scale, in the Japanese capital.

For the drill, the 7-kilometer inbound lanes between the Daishi Junction in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, and the Heiwajima parking area in Tokyo's Ota Ward on the metropolitan expressway system were closed for 30 minutes from 9 a.m. (midnight Saturday GMT).

Assuming that cargoes of a truck were scattered, participants in the drill checked the extent of damage to the expressway and secured a path for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.

If earthquakes measuring lower 6 or higher on the seismic scale strike Tokyo, expressways and six other highways in the capital will be secured exclusively for use by emergency vehicles, with ordinary vehicles banned from using them.

"If an earthquake occurs, we want people to refrain from traveling in vehicles as much as possible to let emergency vehicles use the road," Kenji Minowa, a traffic control division official at the MPD, said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press