Quake stops Tokyo high-rise building's elevators for 5 hours

The earthquake that struck Japan's Chiba Prefecture early Thursday morning caused elevators to stop for up to five hours in a high-rise condominium in Tokyo.

The Toyosu area that faces Tokyo Bay is home to many tall buildings.

Residents told NHK that the earthquake, which struck at 4:16 a.m., stopped elevators in at least five such condominiums in the area.

In four of them, the elevators began working again between five minutes and two hours later, ready in time for most residents to go to work or school.

But in a 52-story condominium, all four elevators for residents on the upper floors were still out of operation as of 9 a.m. Only the reserve elevator was working.

Some residents had to walk down more than 10 floors using the emergency stairway, before getting on an elevator for the lower floors.

A man who lives on the 50th floor said with only one elevator working, it was crowded and it took a long time to go down because people were getting on at each floor.

He said the experience has made him aware of the importance of preparing an emergency stockpile in case all the elevators stop in a major earthquake.

All the elevators in the condominium were working normally again before 10 a.m.