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Earthquake stops monorail, elevators, but no damage

Date Posted: 2011-11-18

The earth trembled as a 6.8 magnitude earthquake rattled the Okinawa islands, enough to trigger a tsunami alert and bring elevators and the Yuirail Monorail System to a halt.

The November 8th quake shook people up, but caused little damage, and provided public officials renewed confidence in safety systems designed to protect the public in the event of an earthquake. The Okinawa Monorail Company shut down the Yuirail Monorail winding its way through Naha City from the airport for several minutes, then ran a full series of safety checks before restarting the trains.

Okinawa Hitachi took preventive action, shutting down 116 elevators temporarily. Another 45 inquires were made about auto stops of elevators to the Okinawa Prefectural Elevator Maintenance Work Cooperative. Engineers were dispatched to sites to confirm safety of the elevators.

Elevators were stopped at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Building in Naha City, as well as at department stores, shopping centers and hotels. There were no people trapped in elevators during the shutdowns.

The Okinawa City Office Disaster Prevention Section reports one injury; a 70-year-old woman suffered a blow to her leg after abook was dropped at her home in the Miyazato district of Okinawa City. At a bookstore in Naha City, books and notebooks tumbled to the floor, giving the staff some clean up work once the all clear was sounded.

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