Tokyo’s long-term plan to become more disaster resilient

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Tokyo’s long-term plan to become more disaster resilient

  • The banks of the Arakawa in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward | ALEX K.T. MARTIN
https://spkt.io/a/5906669

With Tokyo expected to see 1.1 times more rainfall and sea levels rising by about 0.6 meters in the 2040s as the planet warms, the capital is planning to upgrade its infrastructure to be more resilient in the face of heavy rain and flooding.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Friday compiled a comprehensive infrastructure plan to cope with five possible scenarios — water-related disasters like heavy rain, typhoons and flooding; earthquakes and fires; volcanic eruptions; power outages and communications disruptions; and the outbreak of an infectious disease.

“Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake. Major natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and new infectious diseases, could happen anytime in the future,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said at a news conference.

About 105,000 people died or were unaccounted for in the 1923 earthquake, with the majority of the deaths caused by fire.

“The worst-case scenario is for several disasters to happen at the same time,” Koike said. “We want to protect the lives of Tokyo residents and prevent catastrophic damage from happening.”

The metropolitan government will spend ¥15 trillion on the project through 2049, including ¥6 trillion in the next 10 years, a figure that is about 1½ times the amount spent over the past decade.

Construction of the underground Furukawa reservoir in Tokyo in 2014 | BLOOMBERG
Construction of the underground Furukawa reservoir in Tokyo in 2014 | BLOOMBERG

Among the areas of focus, becoming resilient to heavy rain, typhoons and flooding is the most pressing for Tokyo, which took a direct hit from Typhoon Hagibis in September 2019. The amount of rainfall from the typhoon wa

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