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Japan Earth Hardware Science

Tokyo Preparing For Floods 'Beyond Anything We've Seen' ( 98

In the face of an era of extreme weather brought on by climate change, global cities are working to improve their defenses. The New York Times reports (Warning: may be paywalled; alternative source) of Tokyo's $2 billion underground anti-flood system that consists of tunnels that divert water away from the region's most vulnerable floodplains. The city is "preparing for flooding beyond anything we've seen," says Kuniharu Abe, head of the underground site. From the report: But even in Tokyo, the onset of more frequent and intense storms has forced officials to question whether the region's protections are strong enough, a concern that has become more urgent as the city prepares to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Across Japan, rainfall measuring more than 2 inches an hour has increased 30 percent over the past three decades, the Japan Meteorological Agency estimates. The frequency of rainfall of more than 3 inches an hour has jumped 70 percent. The agency attributes the increase of these intense rains to global warming, heralding a new era in a country that is among the world's wettest, with a language that has dozens of words for rain. [...]

Experts have also questioned the wisdom of erecting more concrete defenses in a country that has dammed most of its major river systems and fortified entire shorelines with breakwaters and concrete blocks. Some of these protections, they say, only encourage development in regions that could still be vulnerable to future flooding. In eastern Saitama, where the Kasukabe facility has done the most to reduce floods, local industry has flourished; the region has successfully attracted several large e-commerce distribution centers and a new shopping mall. Still, the Kasukabe operation remains a critical part of Tokyo's defenses, say officials at Japan's Land Ministry, which runs the site. Five vertical, underground cisterns, almost 250 feet deep, take in stormwater from four rivers north of Tokyo. A series of tunnels connect the cisterns to a vast tank, larger than a soccer field, with ceilings held up by 60-foot pillars that give the space a temple-like feel. From that tank, industrial pumps discharge the floodwater at a controlled pace into the Edo river, a larger river system that flushes the water into Tokyo Bay.

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Tokyo Preparing For Floods 'Beyond Anything We've Seen'

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  • As we all know, in the near future (20XX is coming up fast!) Tokyo will be nothing but skyscrapers accessed via flying car, so it doesn't much matter if the ground is permanently flooded or not. For rural areas, look on the bright side: no having to manually flood your rice paddies, they come pre-flooded for your convenience!

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @05:41AM (#55341673)
    So the summary basically boils down to Japan is dammed if they do, damned if they don't.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Tokyo's $2 billion underground anti-flood system that consists of tunnels that divert water away"
    You mean like storm water drains/sewers? Like most of the cities in the world has? I know it's useless to complain, but why does everything have to be hyped up!?

    • "Tokyo's $2 billion underground anti-flood system that consists of tunnels that divert water away"
      You mean like storm water drains/sewers? Like most of the cities in the world has? I know it's useless to complain, but why does everything have to be hyped up!?

      But they're "Library of Congress" sized storm drains.

    • Because it's not just storm drains. They have active measures to control the flow of water.

      Some places are fine with simple storm drains, but apparently Japan has required more extensive infrastructure.

    • And really not that much either. Austin just blew 163 million on a flood control tunnel for downtown. One tunnel. Another factor the article may not have covered is impervious cover. The more development you have the more concrete that covers soil that previously soaked up rain. Austin is kind of a drought/flood area. I've wondered after living here awhile if maybe building codes should be changed so a cistern of say 50K gallons is required for new houses. This would absorb huge amounts of water during heav

      • And Miami Beach is expecting to spend close to $500 million to combat the effects of rising sea level. That might buy them and extra 30-50 years before they have to abandon the city since sea level will continue rising for several hundred years at least.

  • by Kludge ( 13653 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @08:57AM (#55342311)

    But will they be prepared for the surge of water when a 100 m tall monster rises from Tokyo Bay and rampages through the city?

  • 38M is greater Tokyo region, quite a large area and not that many people at risk if a huge event occurred. However the city center with wards like Edogawa at sea level with multiple rivers running on both sides could be swamped if sudden & or prolonged heavy rain over ran existing drainage. The system upstream can help alleviate heavy rain flooding more proactively. It wonâ(TM)t stop all flooding but should help minimize and most of all hopefully avoid a catastrophic flood.
  • Ob (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @09:50AM (#55342531) Homepage Journal

    History shows, again and again, how nature points out the folly of men.

  • by mick129 ( 126225 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @10:59AM (#55342949)
    Tokyo is preparing even weirder foods? I'd read about that.

    Oh, floods. Boo.
  • Japan is threatened more by Climate Change, because it is nearer to China who invented it, according to a fucking moron.

  • by williamyf ( 227051 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @02:15PM (#55344345)

    This is fake news.

    The "tunnels for floods" is a cover up.

    The real reason for the network of tunnels is to provide hidden burial places for Akira and Galatea.

    Nuff' said!

  • Is is bad that I read the title as:
        Tokyo Preparing For Foods 'Beyond Anything We've Seen'

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner