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06. “Striving to Build an Advanced Disaster-Proof City”





[September 9, 2015] Fukuoka Growth 2015-2016 GlobalCityStatus リレーコラム View this post in pdf pdficon_small (707KB, Japanese)

Column 06. Striving to Build an Advanced Disaster-Proof City

(by Takanori BABA, Manager for Project Coordination)
Cities are evolving everyday thanks to the efforts and wisdom of people. However, their growth can be halted easily and suddenly because of the power of nature. There are many places affected by natural disasters in Japan, the notable examples being the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Unfortunately, no one can stop natural disasters.
Fukuoka City was known as an earthquake-free region since ancient times. There are old records of earthquakes including the Tsukushi earthquake of A.D. 645 and the Itoshima earthquake of 1898. However, their epicentres were in the Chikugo region and the Itoshima Peninsula, respectively, and there was no direct damage to Fukuoka City.
Despite this history, Fukuoka City experienced an earthquake firsthand for the first time on March 20, 2005 when the Fukuoka Prefecture Western Offshore Earthquake struck the city. The quake occurred along the north-western part of the Kego fault which runs north-south in Hakata Bay, shattering the myth of the safety of Fukuoka City. The most hazardous is, though, the south-eastern part of the Kego fault which runs directly under the center of Fukuoka City. Due to the impact of this fault, the probability of an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 occurring is estimated at up to 6% in the next 30 years and 20% in the next 100 years. These figures are about the tenth highest among over 2,000 faults that are said to exist in Japan. Given that the probability of an earthquake occurring in 30 years from the fault that caused the Great Hanshin Earthquake was 8%, we can see that the figures for the south-eastern part of the Kego fault are quite high.
As for wind and flood damage, Fukuoka City has often suffered from flood damage. There was the Nishinippon flood disaster in 1953, which was followed by major floods in 1963 and 1973. The city has thus experienced a major flood once every ten years or so. In recent years, major floods in the Hakata Station district in 1999 and 2003 are still fresh in our minds. (One person was killed in the underground shopping arcade of Hakata Station in the 1999 flood.)
In the last few years, landslide damage and the flooding of rivers and inland waters have frequently occurred throughout Japan due to unexpected rainfalls such as torrential rain. One example was the landslide in Hiroshima City last year. Fukuoka City is no stranger to disasters caused by rainfall.
Crisis management and disaster prevention for cities have been discussed globally in recent years with cities’ “resilience” to natural disasters as the keyword.
Fukuoka City takes crisis management and disaster response actions at an earlier stage than other major cities. For instance, in view of the importance of initial responses, the Disaster Prevention Bureau starts collecting information when an earthquake with a seismic intensity of 4 or above on the Japanese scale occurs or when the Fukuoka District Meteorological Observatory issues a caution regarding heavy rains and local flooding. The Bureau also liaises with the relevant parties (e.g. meteorological observatories, prefectural government, prefectural police, the Self-Defence Forces) and collects information on damage. (Most local governments start disaster response actions when an earthquake with a seismic intensity of 5 or above on the Japanese scale occurs or a warning of heavy rains and floods is issued.)
Fukuoka City also strives to provide its residents with information so that they can monitor the status of disasters at all times. For instance, the city has introduced to the crisis management information page of its website a system that allows users to check information on the water level of rivers in real time.
Furthermore, the city has concluded agreements with major convenience stores and supermarkets to build a system whereby food, drinking water, and other necessities are delivered to shelters upon request from the city to secure food at the time of emergencies. This arrangement has freed the local council from the responsibility of storing extra inventories and worrying about their use-by dates. (This is called “running stocks.”)
Meanwhile, private businesses such as facilities which attract customers have voluntarily stockpiled foods and other items and have proactively installed water barriers to stop rainwater from flowing into their facilities. These demonstrate a strong disaster prevention awareness on the part of private businesses.
Fukuoka City’s fire department is famous all over Japan for its speedy initial response. Ambulances on average take 6 minutes and 35 seconds to arrive after a call is made. This is significantly faster than the national average.

06. 防災先進都市を目指して

テキスト:調整係長 馬場孝徳












また、福岡市の消防局は、全国的にも福岡市の初動対応の速さが有名で、救急車は通報から平均6分35秒で現場に到着し、全国平均を大きく上回っています(リンク先PDF・P100 )。(全国平均は8分30秒:平成26年度「消防白書」(リンク先PDF・P172 )より)











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