News On Japan

Learning 300-Year-Old Disaster Lessons

FUKUOKA, Jun 24 (News On Japan) - The series 'Sonaeru,' which focuses on disaster preparedness, brings attention to an incident from July 2023 when record-breaking rainfall in Fukuoka Prefecture's Kurume City triggered a massive landslide in the Minoo Mountains, resulting in one fatality. This region faced a similar disaster 300 years ago, with historical documents offering clues on how to prepare for such unexpected events.

In Take-no district of Tanushimaru Town, debris from the landslide is still piled high, and damaged rooftops remain unrepaired as the area braces for another rainy season.

The landslide that struck Tanushimaru Town in July 2023 engulfed several homes at the base of the Minoo Mountains, leading to one man's death. Residents, stunned by the scale of the disaster, echoed sentiments of disbelief.

Affected Residents:
"We never imagined this could happen."
"We never thought our home would be hit by a landslide."
"The idea that the entire valley could be buried was inconceivable."

The disaster extended beyond designated landslide warning zones, highlighting the unexpected nature of such events. Interestingly, this was not the first time the area faced such devastation.

Koji Nishiyama, Associate Professor, Kyushu University Graduate School of Engineering: "A similar event occurred almost 300 years ago in this very area."

Associate Professor Koji Nishiyama has been studying "Kueyama Monogatari," an ancient document detailing a massive landslide in the Minoo Mountains in 1720 (Kyōhō 5), which claimed over 50 lives.

Nishiyama: "The document describes rocks and water flowing down, with Tokumura and Takenomura being the hardest hit. Many narrowly escaped with their lives. The affected areas in the historical account are almost identical to those hit by the recent disaster."

Nishiyama also points out similarities in the extent of the damage between the past and present landslides.

Nishiyama: "Takenomura, now Take-no district, was affected in both instances, with the landslide spreading beyond current warning zones."

As history repeats itself after 300 years, the question arises: were the lessons from the past utilized in modern disaster preparedness?

On June 19th, a disaster preparedness workshop was held at a local elementary school in Take-no district, with Nishiyama highlighting the dangers of relying too heavily on personal experience.

Nishiyama: "A human life spans only 80 to 90 years, but disasters in the same location can occur once every few hundred years. This means people often lack direct experience, leading to shock when such events happen."

He emphasized the importance of passing down lessons learned from disasters to future generations.

Local Resident: "Last year’s disaster made it clear that we never know when such events might occur. Evacuating quickly and ensuring family safety is paramount."

Nishiyama: "Understanding the types of disasters that have occurred in the region and assessing risks, such as the presence of rivers or mountains nearby, is crucial for future preparedness."

By learning and sharing regional history, communities can better prepare for unexpected disasters. As the rainy season approaches, these lessons could be vital for safeguarding lives.

Source: FBS

News On Japan
POPULAR NEWS

Three people who went missing after a landslide in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, have been found, though their condition is yet to be confirmed.

To address the severe aviation fuel shortage in Japan, a new initiative has been launched as part of an emergency response formulated by the public and private sectors.

Dogo Onsen in Ehime has reopened after five and a half years of renovations. Some people waited as long as eight hours to be the first to take a bath.

A compliance training session for host clubs in Tokyo's Kabukicho district was conducted in response to a series of "urikake" problems, where malicious host clubs saddled customers with exorbitant debts.

A Japanese man detained in Myanmar over the sale price of rice has been charged and will face trial on Friday, July 12.

MEDIA CHANNELS
         

MORE Society NEWS

A 26-year-old policeman in Osaka has been arrested and indicted for sexually assaulting a girl in his car, knowing that she was under 16 years old.

A kebab shop in Shibuya's Center-gai has fallen victim to theft, with the arrested of five individuals, including a former employee.

A 37-year-old man arrested for entering a women's bath in Nagoya, has denied his intention was to see naked women.

A survey on pet names has revealed that 'Mugi' is the most popular name for both dogs and cats. According to the 2023 Pet Name Ranking conducted by pet insurance company Aipet Insurance, the top names for male and female dogs have been 'Leo' and 'Coco' respectively for nine consecutive years.

A theft group has been arrested for stealing sports cars and luxury vehicles in the Kanto region. The losses amount to over 300 cars, valued at approximately 780 million yen.

A 20-something Chinese woman who went missing while swimming in the sea off Shimoda City, Shizuoka Prefecture, was miraculously rescued 36 hours later. On the morning of July 10th at around 8 a.m., she was found by a cargo ship approximately 80 kilometers away, off the coast of Minamiboso City, Chiba Prefecture, with a floating ring.

A local taxi in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture, narrowly escaped falling debris as dashcam footage shows the road ahead collapsing following record-breaking heavy rainfall on Tuesday.

Japan's Imperial Family, including Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko, and Princess Kako, gathered for a special music concert to celebrate the 90th birthdays of former Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Also in attendance were Sayako Kuroda and other family members.