4/20/2012

Resilience: 300,000 buildings could be destroyed in Tokyo in the event of earthquake according to Yomiuri Shimbun; and other news

This week, I have this chance to discuss with architect Maurits Ruis about his research on water scarcity in Rio de Janeiro. I will remain as vague as possible in order to share the entire content of this discussion with when it will be posted. It is scheduled for next week. This is worth reading as his project and Maurits Ruis's entire work is worth seeing, in my view. For those who has a strong interest on questions concerning energy, water issues, soft systems, infrastructure, health and well-being, urban migration, and quality of life, I hope you will enjoy this interview.

For now, an article I just read on the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun via Twitter concerning the impact of earthquake on Tokyo's buildings and houses.

According to The Yomiuri Shimbun, reporting a Tokyo metropolitan government's study, a possible Tokyo Earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 could destroy an estimated number of 300,000 buildings if its epicenter hits the northern Tokyo Bay.
Originally appeared on The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The newspaper goes on with:
As quake-resistance and free-proofing capabilities of buildings have improved year by year, the number of houses and buildings predicted to be damaged fell about 130,000 from the previous to about 304,300.
However:
The predicted death toll due to collapsed houses and buildings rose to 5,600, compared with 2,500 in the previous prediction, and that due to fire increased to 4,100 from 2,700.

As a result, more in terms of building materials, manufacturing and fabrication as well as planning, is needed as, following the above map, many areas in Tokyo such as Suginami, Adachi, but also Suginami, Ota, concentrate a certain number of vulnerable buildings and houses. The Tokyo Metropolitan government's agency argues that these can be explained due to a high concentration of wooden houses. Accorgingly, vulnerable buildings and houses could have serious impact on people. Hence an estimated death toll that could rise to 9,000.

Originally appeared on The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The article pointed out that:
The largest number of houses and buildings feared to burn down is 32,200 in Ota Ward, followed by 23,000 in Suginami Ward, 22,400 in Setagaya Ward.
When being in Tokyo, I usually live in Setagaya Ward (Kitazawa, for more precision), a ward that I appreciate for its quality of life and beautiful yet high concentration of wooden houses. These houses indeed could be at risk in the event of earthquake and fire, this despite recent efforts by architects and constructors to replace a large number of houses and buildings with quake-resistent and fireproofing houses and buildings.
But fire is not the only scaring factor:
Some areas along the Arakawa and Tamagawa rivers are predicted to flood, resulting in destruction or severe damage to about 2,500 houses and buildings.
A key response to this can be a new vision in terms of risk management and urban planning for a country known for its resilient capacity. Given that even Japan is facing crisis with a budgetary restriction, it will unsurprisingly be engaged in new ways, new strategies in risk management by doing more… with less to respond to these pressing issues.


Source: Yomiuri Shimbun.

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