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Many local authorities in Japan have drawn up flood hazard maps as a guide for local residents in times of flooding, but very few people apparently know of their existence.

According to a survey conducted by the General Insurance Association of Japan among 519 residents of 10 cities, 69 percent said they are not aware that their cities have information on potential floods.

The survey shows that only 3.7 percent of the respondents actually keep flooding hazard maps at home.

The association urged local authorities that have prepared the flooding information to make greater efforts to publicize the fact that they are available, such as by making the information available on the Internet.

According to government data, 217 municipalities across Japan have drawn up flooding maps that identify areas that are prone to inundation as well as designated evacuation sites.

Officials of the insurance association say the majority of respondents regard flooding as a real threat and many of them want local authorities to provide better guidance to deal with flooding, particularly flash floods triggered by torrential rain.

The survey also shows that many people want the government to improve flood-prevention infrastructure, such as by constructing river embankments.

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