Typhoon Hagibis: How Japan bounces back from earthquakes and other natural calamities

Updated: Oct 14, 2019, 02:52 PM(IST)

Japan has experienced some of the most extreme weather conditions anywhere on the planet and Typhoon Hagibis, the island nation's most powerful storm in decades is no exception. Here are a few precautionary measures in place that make Japan one of the best-prepared nations on earth.

Japan : One of the most affected by natural disasters

Japan is a country that has experienced more than its fair share of disasters. From earthquakes, tsunamis, even volcanic eruptions to catastrophes like the Fukushima nuclear accident that triggered after a magnitude 9 earthquake off the east coast of Japan.

Japan has experienced some of the most extreme weather conditions anywhere on the planet. And Typhoon Hagibis, the island nation's most powerful storm in decades. Is no exception but with precautionary measures in place. Japan is considered one of the best-prepared nations on earth.


The 'Great East' Japan earthquake

In 2011, Japan witnessed the most powerful earthquake recorded in Japanese history. The "Great East" Japan earthquake triggered a massive tsunami. More than an estimated 20,000 people were dead or missing and close to 500,000 people were forced to evacuate.

It has been 8 years since. Japan has learned its lesson in disaster preparedness and very well so. The country is now a world leader in disaster preparedness.


Japan disaster survival guide

Earthquake-resistant buildings

All houses are built to withstand some level of tremor. Houses in japan are built to comply with rigorous earthquake-proof standards that have been set by law. These laws also apply to other structures like schools and office buildings.


Phone updates

Every smartphone in japan is installed with an earthquake and tsunami emergency alert system. Triggered around five to ten seconds before the impending disasters, it’s meant to give users time to quickly seek protection if necessary.


Earthquake-ready bullet trains

To ensure the safety of all passengers, the trains are equipped with earthquake sensors that are triggered to freeze every moving train in the country if necessary. In 2011, when the 9.0 magnitude quake hit Japan, there were 27 moving shinkansen in action. Every single train was triggered by smaller pre-quakes and stopped before the major quake.


Survival kits

Homes are stocked with survival kits. These kits include first aid equipment, bottled water, food rations, gloves, face masks, insulation sheets, survival tools like torches, and even radios that broadcast regular updates.


Water discharge tunnel

One of the most impressive feats of engineering is Tokyo's little-known water discharge tunnel located on the outskirts of the city. This hidden tunnel collects floodwaters caused by natural disasters like cyclones and tsunamis and safely redistributes the water into the Edo river.

Even though japan lies in the ring of fire, with these precautionary measures the island has been able to minimize damage and human injury significantly over the years.


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