Japan may place emergency toilets and water in elevators

Japan is frequently hit by earthquakes and while they don't typically cause major destruction, the frequent earthquakes do often leave people trapped in elevators. Recently an earthquake left dozens of people trapped for over an hour after a magnitude 7.8 quake hit the country on Saturday leaving people stuck in lifts inside buildings. Most of the elevators in building stopped at the closest floor and the doors opened to let passengers out.

However, across the country 14 elevators were stranded between floors. To help prevent people from being stuck in elevators for long periods without water and a place to go to the bathroom, Japan is looking at placing emergency water and toilets in elevators around the country.

The emergency toilets could be made using collapsible cardboard structures with waterproof bags or absorbent materials inside. Some elevators have seating areas for the elderly and installing toilets under those seats is a possibility as well.

Japan is frequently hit with earthquakes because it sits at the junction of four tectonic plates. Officials in the country think that when the next big quake hits the country in the coming decades as many as 17,000 people could be stranded in elevators.