How Japan has prepared for tsunamis

Devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan yesterday on March 11 2011. There are still a lot of missing people to be found and a lot of damaged infrastructure to be restored. But it’s certainly clear that the magnitude 8.9 quake—one of the most powerful in the recorded history of the whole planet—with the epicenter so close to the most densely populated area of the planet haven’t caught Japan unprepared.

Japan’s strict building codes made even the skyscrapers on Shinjuku to withstand the quake. Constant drills and full access to ongoing information helped people to act calmly and reasonably.

So what exactly helped people of Japan to survive the devastating tsunami and disastrous earthquake?

Areas that are prone to tsunamis are protected by the special anti-tsunami facilities or tall anti-tsunami walls. Like this one 10m high wall in Tarou:

Anti-tsunami wall in Tarou

Or a smaller one in Kamakuri:

Anti-tsunami wall in Kamakuri

The coastal areas are covered with signs. Some of them just advice to be careful about tsunamis but most signs provide pretty detailed instruction, saying what to do and where to go in case of tsunami.

Tsunami warning signs could be simple or very detailed

Tsunami evacuation sign on the sidewalk

Be careful to tsunamis

In case of tsunami. Move to higher places to avoid Tsunami.

Tsunami warning sign: Immediately evacuate quickly!

Safety evacuation area for tsunami sign

Caution tsunami hazard area

This sign is using famous classic Japan painting “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai.

Tsunami warning and evacuation route sign

Tsunami evacuation area map sign

In case of earthquake be cautious of tsunami. Evacuate immediately from the beach in case of unusual appearance.

Tsunami warning for kids

5 thoughts on “How Japan has prepared for tsunamis”

  1. i think you should give more details about what other way they are prepared for tsunamis and earthquakes.

  2. I am a geography and deeply impressed with the informations you post.
    How can I have your approval of using one of your photo (anti-tsunami walls) for setting questions/ exercise for students?.

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