Japanese Authorities Create Shelters along Roads Due to Natural Disasters
As the number of natural disasters increases, the Department of Land Management wants to create more than 650 shelters that will allow residents to take shelter during floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters.
Officials say the shelters and expressways are scheduled to be in place by March. The work wants to be completed by the end of 2025.
The shelters will cover 60 expressways as well as 597 state-controlled roads. They will correspond to the approximate height of the tsunami.
All authorities will work to create the shelters. The Ministry wants these areas to be included in the hazard preparedness plans and is working to inform all local residents.
For the roads to be used as shelters, local authorities must ensure that stairs are built so that residents can reach the shelters.
As of 2020, about 390 shelters have already been built. The central government has a policy of creating these evacuation zones because it wants to make the country resilient to natural disasters.
The authorities plan to invest in areas where the risk of natural disasters is quite high. This focus on shelters began after the 2011 earthquake, which took a huge toll on the Pacific Ocean. Many residents of the area had already escaped the tsunami by fleeing to a national highway.
Based on past experience, Japanese authorities have created several emergency zones along their roads. Every year there are drills for schoolchildren in which they are taught the rules of evacuation.
The authorities decided to increase the number of such zones as soon as possible because of the frequency of natural disasters. As of 2020, they have found more than 650 places to create such areas.