- Title: Tsunami drill in Japan ahead of World Tsunami Awareness Day
- Date: 4th November 2016
- Summary: MAP OF JAPAN PROJECTED ONTO BIG SCREEN
- Embargoed: 19th November 2016 08:55
- Keywords: Choshi Chiba Prefecture tsunami earthquake United Nations World Tsunami Awareness day
- Location: CHOSHI, JAPAN
- City: CHOSHI, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Earthquakes/Volcanoes/Tsunami
- Reuters ID: LVA002571339H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Three hundred elementary school students took part in a tsunami escape drill on Friday (November 4) in drills repeated throughout Japan ahead of World Tsunami Awareness Day on Saturday (November 5).
Choshi Futaba Elementary School, which is located in the coastal area of Japan's Chiba prefecture, is only six meters above sea level, making it highly susceptible to tsunami devastation.
Students were aware the drill would take place to ensure their response to a possible tsunami similar to the one that devastated northern Japan five years ago and killed nearly 18,000 people would be calm and swift.
After a school-wide earthquake drill announcement was made, students calmly ducked under their desks and waited for further instructions.
Another announcement told students that the shaking had subsided, prompting children to put on protective hoods and gather onto the school field.
Teachers then led students toward a nearby hill 22 meters above sea level where a high school gymnasium is located.
The drill ended with a lecture on tsunami and earthquake emergency preparedness.
"Even for the younger grade students, I think they are starting to understand how to form an escape plan that would best suit an emergency situation," said a second-grade teacher, Keiko Enomoto.
A high-school student who joined the lecture at the end of the drill warned about over confidence in responding to a possible disaster.
"If another Great East Japan Earthquake-type disaster happened, there would be things that we cannot safely respond to, which is why we can't be too confident," said Naoya Yamazaki, using the term often used in Japan for the 2011 disasters that hit northeastern Japan.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
On March 11, 2011, Japan's northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake and a massive tsunami, triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The United Nations General Assembly made November 5th World Tsunami Awareness day. Drills and events to raise awareness are expected not only in Japan but in other high risk tsunami nations.
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