There’s nothing comical about this manga comic: office building windows shatter, trains derail and cars plunge from buckling bridges. It all happens at 4:35 p.m. on a day dubbed “Tokyo’s X Day.”
This catastrophic scenario is depicted in a 300-page book on earthquake preparedness published by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The book, which includes tips on how to make fly traps to rid evacuation centers of the pests, begins with a weighty warning: Experts say there’s a 70 percent chance of a quake directly hitting the greater Tokyo area, home to 36 million people, within the next three decades.
“It’s a race between us and the earthquake. And if we don’t win it we won’t be able to protect the capital,” said Professor Satoshi Fujii of Kyoto University, a special adviser on disaster preparation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet.