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Tokyo Olympics: Preparing for everything including a quake

/ 04:14 PM December 19, 2019
Tokyo Olympics earthquake

A member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and firefighters, left, carry mock victims on stretchers during a simulation disaster drill at the new Ariake venue that will be the site for gymnastics during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Tokyo Olympic organizers and government officials are preparing for everything including an earthquake taking place during next year’s games. (Koki Sengoku/Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — Tokyo Olympic organizers and government officials are preparing for everything, including an earthquake taking place during next year’s games.

They ran a simulation disaster drill on Thursday at the new Ariake venue that will be the site for gymnastics during the Olympics. The drill presumed a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in neighboring Tokyo Bay.

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Just over 100 firefighters, police, and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel took part. Japan is hit regularly by earthquakes and takes preparedness seriously. The threat of quakes and the summer Tokyo heat are the major worries as organizers prepare to open the Olympics on July 24, 2020.

“I think we were able to achieve our primary objective, which was to make sure of smooth cooperation between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee,” Hiroya Yarimizu, director of security for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, told reporters.

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He also credited the police, firefighters, and soldiers for playing their part.

“I believe we were able to coordinate smoothly,” he added.

Medics simulated treatment on real people and mannequins on stretchers, and distributed water as they moved victims outside the venue to safety.

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