Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Japan: Earthquake drill emails stop Osaka Pref. residents in their tracks

OSAKA -- Some 3.5 million people in Osaka Prefecture received earthquake warning emails on their mobile phones on Sept. 5 in the largest drill of its kind in Japan.

The mass warning was sent out by the prefecture to get Osaka prefectural residents thinking about how they would react in the case of a major temblor such as the projected Nankai Trough quake.

The emails landed in residents' mobile phone inboxes at around 11 a.m., stopping people in their tracks with a special ring at the highest volume level, regardless of anyone's phone settings. Headed by the word "drill" in Japanese and English, the mail asked recipients to "please consider what it will be like when a real earthquake happens."

"Getting information should change how we evacuate," commented one 24-year-old from Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture. "I hope I can make the best of the service when a disaster actually happens."

A 71-year-old housewife at JR Osaka Station, meanwhile, said, "These days almost everyone has a mobile phone. I'll be very thankful for the warning if a disaster strikes." Read More