More than 60% of municipalities in the prefectures of Iwate and Miyagi do not plan to relocate their city or town halls despite being designated as areas at risk of flooding in the event of a large-scale tsunami, a Kyodo News survey showed.

Eleven out of 18 municipalities, which were severely damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, are instead taking precautions against natural catastrophes by moving their disaster-response capabilities to higher ground, according to the survey.

The municipalities are drawing lessons from what happened in disasters in recent years — including in 2011 when municipal offices were damaged and many officials were killed.