3480 homes completely destroyed in Kanto area following Tohoku disaster

An investigation by the Tokyo Shimbun has found that as many as 3480 homes in the Kanto area were completely destroyed in the Tohoku disaster. A further 2815 homes were partially destroyed and will need to be demolished. In some areas, the number of partially destroyed homes equalled the number that were completely destroyed.

Homeowners may be eligible to receive a maximum of 3 million Yen as compensation, but high construction costs mean that very few homes are being rebuilt. It has been almost 11 months since the disaster and the full extent of the damage is only now coming to the surface.

New plan requiring land risks to be explained before sale

The Japan Association of Home Suppliers has announced plans to require a site geography and history report to be presented to the buyer prior to the sale of a home.

There are approximately 100 home builders who are members of the Association. The committee chairman, also company president of Mita Housing, said that following the Tohoku disaster they had received an increasing number of inquiries from clients concerned about the liquefaction risk and strength of the ground. He believes that providing a geography and history report for each property would provide help to ease the concerns of buyers. Mita Housing is about to introduce this new reporting system into their own business, and many other real estate companies also have plans to do so.

Danchi reconstruction cancelled due to liquefaction

Reconstruction plans for the Sodegaura Danchi public housing project in Chiba’s Narashino City have been put on hold as the recent liquefaction in the area caused by the March 11 Tohoku earthquake has deterred potential buyers for apartments in the new project.

The Sodegaura Danchi was built in 1967 and has 250 units. It is built on reclaimed land on Tokyo Bay and is a 45 minute drive from central Tokyo. A 3-bedroom apartment in the complex can be rented for as low as 60,000 Yen/month (780 USD).

Does your apartment building have earthquake insurance?

*If you own an apartment in Japan, you can take out optional earthquake insurance. This insurance only covers your apartment and does not cover the common areas of the building or the structure itself. The management association for the building can take out earthquake insurance on the common areas, but as it turns out, less than a third of all buildings are covered.

Owners of apartments in uninsured buildings are facing great repair bills as a result of the March 11 Tohoku Earthquake.

Which areas are at risk of liquefaction in an earthquake?

Liquefaction in Shinonome and Toyosu
Liquefaction in Toyosu (left) and Shinonome (right) as a result of the March 11, 2011 earthquake.

During the March 11 earthquake, some areas along the bay area in Tokyo suffered damage from liquefaction. The above images are from Toyosu and Shinonome in Koto-ku.

Between 1881 and 1930 the following reclaimed land was created:

  • Tsukishima 1~4 Chome
  • Minato-ku’s coastal area (Shibaura 1~4 Chome, Kaigan 1~4 Chome)
  • Shiomi area in Koto-ku
  • Toyosu
  • Edagawa, Koto-ku
  • Tennozu Isle, Shinagawa-ku

Below is a map showing the reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay up until 2002. A total area of 17,580,000 Tsubo (58 million sqm) of land was reclaimed between the 1860s and 2002.

Serious Land Liquefaction in Odaiba, Tokyo

The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake has caused serious land liquefaction to Tokyo’s bayside reclaimed land areas (see images).

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea in Chiba Prefecture suspended operations due to liquefaction in the carpark area where many cars were trapped in sand. Nearby telephone poles are slanted and a school building sunk by 50cm.

In Tokyo, the reclaimed land from Odaiba to Shinkiba saw about 30cm of liquefied sand,  dislodging of manholes, cracked and uneven pavements and leaning fences and walls.

in detail

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