An apartment building currently being constructed in Osaka’s Yadogawa-ku has been designated as an evacuation site in the event of a tsunami. This is the first new building in Japan to be designated prior to the beginning of apartment sales.
“Mikuni no Kawabe no Mori River Garden” is located alongside the Kanzakigawa River. The 15 story building with 197 apartments will be completed in January, 2013. The common hallways from the 3rd floor (7 meters high) and above can accommodate approximately 1000 evacuees in an emergency.
In the event that a large tsunami warning is issued, the building will be opened to the public. If an earthquake warning with a seismic intensity level of 4 or higher is issued, the building’s autolocking doors will be unlocked so that neighboring residents can enter the building.
Within the apartment site, park benches will be installed that have cooking facilities for use in emergencies. Manholes that can double as toilets will also be installed. Almost half of the 8200 sqm building site will be greenery, and will have a maximum elevated height of 12 meters.
Within Osaka City, 285 public schools and public housing complexes have already been designated as tsunami evacuation centers. Only 5 private apartment buildings have received designations so far. The current designated centers can accommodate a total of 280,000 evacuees.
Apartment sales are scheduled begin at the end of October, 2011. Apartments range in size from 65 sqm (3-bedrooms) to over 100sqm (5-bedroom) and range in price from 17 ~ 28 million Yen (220,000 ~ 363,000 USD).
The Sankei Shimbun, October 11, 2011.