Japan
Seismologists suspect Japan is in active phase for earthquakes and consider providing toilet facilities in elevators.Getty Images

Japan is considering installing toilets in lifts after several people were left stranded following the 30 May earthquake.

Several dozen people were reportedly stranded without water for nearly an hour after elevators came to a halt following the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that struck off Japan's Ogasawara Islands on Saturday (30 May).

While some elevators came to a stop at the closest floor and opened their doors, others remained stuck at the floor they were at when the earthquake hit.

Seismologists now suspect that the region is in an active phase hence officials have started considering providing an emergency supply of water and toilet facilities in elevators.

Toshiyasu Nagao, head of the Earthquake Prediction Research Centre at Tokai University, said: "I can say Japan is in an active stage now.

"We should be vigilant by knowing that it is no wonder that an earthquake sizeable enough to affect our society can occur any time in the future."

Discussions to facilitate people in such a scenario involved providing collapsible cardboard structures with waterproof bags.

According to an official from the Association of Elevator Makers, a meeting has also taken place between officials from the infrastructure ministry and the industry bodies to analyse how to provide toilets in lifts.

At present, Japan has already started catering to elderly people by installing small seats in new elevators.

One option could be to add absorbent material inside these seats.

According to government estimates, the next major earthquake will hit the nation in the next few decades.

Considering there are some 620,000 elevators in Japan, the natural disaster can leave at least 17,000 stranded.