Landslide risk studies lag in 32 prefectures

2001 law on hazard sites undermined by lack of funds, staff

JIJI

More than 10 years after landslide disaster legislation took effect, 32 of the 47 prefectures have yet to finish the on-site research it orders, it was learned Sunday.

It’s estimated there are some 520,000 possibly dangerous areas, such as steep slopes and alluvial fans.

Under the law, which took effect in 2001, prefectural governments and other authorities must carry out on-site research to designate areas where evacuation plans and hazard maps will be drawn up.

They also are required to determine dangerous areas where stringent building restrictions must be imposed.

Asked how far along they are with the research, officials of 15 prefectures said they were finished. They are: Aomori, Yamagata, Tochigi, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Gifu, Hyogo, Nara, Tottori, Shimane, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka and Okinawa.

The other 32 said they are still at work. Many complained of funding and manpower shortages.

In Hiroshima, there are about 32,000 possibly dangerous areas, the highest of all 47 prefectures.

As of the end of March, research had been called off in about 12,000 areas. Officials said the prefecture lacks funds and is conducting detailed research to select areas that should be designated as those requiring special attention.

In the city of Hiroshima, last week, massive landslides caused by torrential rain claimed dozens of lives and wrecked homes and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Hyogo and Shimane prefectures have finished researching more than 20,000 locations each.

Fukui and Fukuoka prefectures accelerated their work after suffering flood damage.

Of the 520,000 locations, research had been finished for some 380,000, or about 70 percent, as of the end of March, according to the land ministry.

  • zer0_0zor0

    There should have been a mandatory time limit for completing the study and implementing countermeasures.

    The biggest danger is probably corruption between local politicians and land developers/construction companies wanting to capitalize by building in potentially dangerous areas.