Firefighters swung from ladders, helicopters rescued mock victims, and robot fire engines shot jets of water for the audience Jan. 6 as the Tokyo Fire Department held its New Year's parade.
A total of 2,800 full-time and volunteer firefighters and 150 fire engines and helicopters took part in the event at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center in Tokyo's Koto Ward. They displayed how they might react to a major earthquake in the capital.
The firefighters showed how they deploy helicopters to evacuate casualties, and demonstrated fighting a hypothetical fire at a facility handling hazardous materials using remote-controlled water cannon trucks.
The quake drill carried a somber echo in the nation where more than 100,000 survivors of the 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster remain living in temporary accommodation, and where seismologists predict a strong chance of a major quake striking Tokyo in the coming decades.
Acrobats performing at the New Year review were members of the Edo Firemanship Preservation Association Inc., which aims to keep alive the traditions of local fire brigades from the Edo Period (1603-1867).
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