October 29, 2008

Tokyo Shakes and It is Outhouse Central

Maybe I won't go visit Japan. They're telling people to walk around with plastic bags and toilet paper just in case.

"In the event of a catastrophic earthquake, Japanese officials say more than 800,000 people would have trouble finding a toilet in Tokyo.

As a result, Masaya Takahashi, a cabinet official, tells the Associated Press that the Central Disaster Prevention Council determined that "toilet needs" require more attention from government planners.

"He noted that the search for toilets might cause unnecessary panic," the wire service says. "The city has said it plans to make toilets available at schools, convenience stores, gas stations and other public facilities, but the report urged further effort."

This is a major public health issue. Reuters says the panel reported that the "biggest problem faced by survivors of the [1995] Kobe earthquake was not food or clothing, but a lack of toilets."

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