Buildings in Minato-ku to be designated as tsunami-evacuation points

Selected buildings in Tokyo’s Minato ward will be soon be designated as tsunami-evacuation points. Negotiations are underway between the local city council and 16 companies who own buildings of 10-storeys or higher. Approximately 36.5 million Yen has been set aside in the City’s budget.

Several commercial and residential buildings in Arakawa-ku and Koto-ku have already received designations. While Arakawa-ku provided some assistance with the purchase of emergency supplies and rations, Minato-ku will provide all necessary supplies to the co-operating buildings. They are also considering providing assistance with any upgrades to building security so that they may be accessible to evacuees in an emergency situation.

Shizuoka Town creates 1000-yr tsunami hazard map

Following the March 11 Tohoku disaster, a coastal town in Shizuoka Prefecture has decided to create a special tsunami hazard map based on a hypothesized once-in-a-thousand-years tsunami.

Yoshida Town is in south-west Shizuoka and faces Suruga Bay. Although it is protected by a 6 meter breakwater, a tsunami of over 8 meters is now thought to be possible. The last major tsunami to hit the town was a 5~6 meter wave caused by the 1854 Ansei Tokai Earthquake.

Under the supervision of an associate professor from the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, the special map will be based on an earthquake of the same class as the 1498 Meio Nankaido Earthquake which had an estimated magnitude of 8.6 and caused a large tsunami in Suruga Bay and at Kamakura. Using historical records, the estimated height of the tsunami in Yoshida was 8.6 meters.

Apartment in Osaka to be tsunami evacuation point

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.

Sendai City planning to ban construction on coastal areas, 2400 homes to be affected

Sendai City announced on September 16th that they plan to prohibit any new construction or additions to existing homes in the coastal areas that are at risk of being inundated in a Tsunami over 2 meters high. The City plans to present the proposed reforms to the Diet by the end of this year.

The City said that a 2-meter or higher tsunami poses a very high risk of washing away homes. As such, approximately 1500 hectares of the city’s coastal areas including Miyagino-ku and Wakabayashi-ku has been designated as a disaster risk area. Up to 2,400 homes will be affected by the planned ban on construction or additions, and plans to move residents 1 to 2 kilometers further inland are progressing.

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