Mega Cities In Japan Susceptible To Floods
The March 11, 2011 tsunami changed Japan forever and has refocused the nation’s attention on water damage threats and the adequacy of Japan’s “built environment” Human structures such as the Okotsu Diversion Channel in Niigata were intended to protect property and life but Japan’s scientists believe some of these types of civil engineering projects may be partly to blame for the severity of flooding all over Japan. Many of Japan’s cities have underground shopping arcades and subway stations in flood prone areas.
The tsunami disaster has not only thrown into doubt the ability of the Japanese to manage nuclear power plants but also the adequacy of the Japanese government to plan for and mitigate the negative effects of natural disasters on the archipelago.
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At the same time, officials in Nagoya, Japan are not waiting for the benefits of human atmospheric engineering or the national government to protect them from the ravages of typhoon induced flooding. During Japan’s typhoon season floods occur nationwide and subways are particularly vulnerable to rushing water and expensive cleanup and repair.
The new hydrauic barrier throughout Nagoya’s subway system have worked well in keeping waters at bay.
Japan has a long history of using dikes, storage reservoirs and basins to limit flooding, but these are time-consuming and expensive options. One of the ironies of modern development is that as coastlines flood water travels in land following man-made cement channels significantly increasing water flow. When banks of rivers are overtopped or seawater flooding occurs whether due to tsunamis or heavy rainfall heavy inundation occurs.
Japan has implemented a new flood risk communication system to improve both the public’s awareness of self-help and mutual help opportunities for flood risk mitigation. Flood evacuation plans are in place and places to go that are considered “high ground” are designated in public service announcements and literature.
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References and related content:
- Too Big To Flood? Megacities Face Future of Major Storm Risk By Bruce Stutz
- Flood Prevention Barriers Appear at Subway Stations, Were They There All Along? | Tokyo Desu
- Top 20 Cities with Billions at Risk from Climate Change – Jul 5, 2012 – Eric Roston – bloomberg.com – Generation – Technical Articles – Index – Library – GENI – Global Energy Network Institute