Following Earthquake Japan Plans to Build Toilets in Elevators


‘Toilets inside an elevator’

One may have thought after an 8.1 Richter Scale earthquake the national government may have more serious issues to combat than the installation of toilets in public elevators. However, that is exactly what the Japanese government looking into. Plans on building toilets inside public lifts has already begun after last weekend’s earthquake.

The earthquake took place last Saturday and  the catastrophic event appears to be the trigger for installing toilets in elevators after several people were left “high and dry” for hours.

The earthquake caused a cut of electricity across Tokyo and left dozens of people standing with no electrical power.

Many people were left in the elevators for hours with no possible solution from the local authorities apart from waiting for electricity to come back.

No one really would like to be stuck for more than a day in a lift especially not this guy whom it happened to back in the 90’s. He went on to argue the one thing necessary when stuck in a lift for 41 hours is toilets. This is why the government has decided to make a move and has accelerated plans to install toilets in public elevators.

Japan is heavily affected by earthquakes and is regular hit by rumbles of differing disruption. The government  decided to hold a meeting between the Infrastructure Ministry and elevator industry bodies on Wednesday to decide on the matter of toilets in elevators.

Another proposed idea was to provide emergency supplies of drinking water also in case of emergency. However, clearly toilets took priority.

Some of the newest lifts already have small sitting areas (mostly for elderly people), so the idea would be to install toilets under the seats. Installing toilets via an alternative method is not believed to be cost effective.

An example of elevator toilets

‘17,000 will benefit from the installation of toilets’

The problem is that Japan has 620,000 elevators in public or national buildings and about 20% of them are in Tokyo. During the earthquake most of the elevators automatically  stopped at the nearest floor and opened their doors, but 14 stayed between  storeys, thus limiting the impact the installation of toilets would have.

This could be a really innovative and genius idea for all the people stuck in a lift because of an earthquake or for any other possible reason.

The government have tried to find out some stats about the next earthquake in order to be prepared. Seismologists believe the next big one, will hit the capital within the next 10 years. This new seismic phenomena may leave more people stuck in an elevator, with statistics estimating 17,000 people could be affected. Obviously, that is quite a figure and I suppose the beauty of the project is, despite the number, elevators should not require numerous toilets to serve those trapped. Certainly, those 17,000 will certainly look back on the government initiative and thank them for the installation of toilets!

via The Guardian

If you like this article you may be interested in “Japanese Whiskey Company to Send Whiskey into Outer Space to See How it Ages”.


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