[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 04:35 GMT 05:35 UK
Japan conducts huge quake drill
Elementary school children crouch under their desks as part of a nationwide earthquake drill at a Tokyo elementary school, 01 September 2006.
Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the drill
More than 800,000 people across Japan have taken part in an annual drill to prepare for a major earthquake.

Police, firefighters and volunteers practised their response to a magnitude 7.3 quake directly under Tokyo.

These drills are held every year on the anniversary of the Great Kanto earthquake, which killed more than 140,000 people in 1923.

This year's exercise included personnel from the US and South Korea for the first time.

In a mock news conference on Friday morning, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said that massive damage had been caused by an earthquake, and urged people not to panic.

Then emergency procedures got underway, with helicopters picking up "evacuees" and firefighters helping people from buildings.

Japan is in an area prone to regular and in some cases serious earthquakes.

Tokyo, which has a population of 12 million, sits on three major seismic fault-lines.

A large-scale earthquake is thought to be several years overdue, and despite all their efforts to prepare the public and reinforce buildings, officials still predict that a large tremor could kill more than 10,000 of the city's inhabitants.

Japan stores to be quake centres
29 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Kobe 10 years on
17 Jan 05 |  In Pictures
Japan's earthquake watch
25 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Powerful earthquakes shake Japan
24 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan counts cost after typhoon
22 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific