National

Dangerous reservoirs found at 63,722 locations across Japan

JIJI

The agriculture ministry said Tuesday it has found 63,722 reservoirs across Japan that may pose danger to people if they are affected by natural disasters such as torrential rain.

The figure as of the end of May was some 5.6 times higher than the number confirmed at the end of fiscal 2017, as the ministry re-examined such reservoirs according to new standards set after heavy rain that hit western Japan in July last year and caused a number of reservoirs to collapse.

Local governments will accelerate efforts to draw up hazard maps for areas at risk of damage from such dangerous reservoirs.

Under the ministry’s standards, set in November last year, dangerous reservoirs are defined as those that have housing or public facilities located within less than 100 meters of where flooding is expected in the event of heavy rain or other natural disasters.

After careful scrutiny, the ministry confirmed some 167,000 reservoirs, including artificial ponds designed to secure water for agricultural use, across the nation, down from 198,000 previously, as it excluded some that no longer exist.