Wide-Area Evacuations 'Could Cut Rescues by 90% in Arakawa Flood'

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), July 21, 2014 | Go to article overview

Wide-Area Evacuations 'Could Cut Rescues by 90% in Arakawa Flood'


A so-called wide-area evacuation of Tokyo residents in the event of major flooding caused by the Arakawa river could reduce the number of people requiring rescue by 90 percent from current estimates, according to a simulation carried out by the Tokyo metropolitan government.

The simulation was conducted to compile measures to cope with flooding of the river, which flows into Tokyo Bay, if torrential rain caused by a mega-typhoon occurred. The measures include setting up evacuation shelters for affected residents outside their municipalities in advance.

Against a background of experts predicting there will be an increase in the occurrence of powerful typhoons because of global warming, the metropolitan government on Friday revised its regional disaster prevention plan, and for the first time added measures for a wide-area evacuation.

The simulation covered Adachi, Katsushika and Edogawa wards, which are located east of the Arakawa river. The total population of the three wards is about 1.79 million.

The simulation was made on the premise that the heaviest rain in 200 years breaches the river's banks and a flood occurs, requiring evacuations.

The simulation results showed that if the current conditions continued and no special measures were taken, 28.7 percent of residents in the three wards would have to evacuate to areas straddling several municipalities and 78,000 people would be unable to evacuate, requiring rescue.

If all residents living on the first or second floor of houses or other buildings--63.1 percent of the population--were evacuated to areas straddling several municipalities and the evacuees' destinations were decided in advance, the simulation results showed that the number of residents requiring rescue could be reduced to about 9,000. …

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