【Report】Weather Class & Disaster Prevention Seminar for Foreign Residents Part1


We observed the “Weather Class & Disaster Prevention Seminar for Foreign Residents ” held at the Kagoshima International Center on May 15 (Sun.).

About 15 foreign residents of Kagoshima City of various nationalities attended and listened to the talk with English interpretation.

The first part was a “weather class” by Mr. Daisuke Sumiyoshi of the MBC Weather Center on Kagoshima’s climate and disaster characteristics, and where to get multilingual information in case of a disaster.

The second part was “Let’s Prepare for Disaster!” by Mr. Yamashita of the Kagoshima City Emergency Management Bureau, who was talking about disaster preparedness, evacuation sites, and what to do in case of a disaster.

With the permission of the event host, Kagoshima City International Foundation, we would like to share what Mr.Sumiyoshi said here on our blog in two parts.
This article will focus on matters related to landslides.


 

Weather Class

 


 

Climate of Kagoshima

 
First, please answer the following question.
 

Which of the following cities have the most precipitation during the year?
(1) Seoul
(2) Tokyo
(3) Kagoshima
(4) Bangkok




Answer.
.
.
.
As those of you with better instincts know…
Yes.

Kagoshima

In second place is Bangkok with an annual precipitation of 1,717.7 mm, but Kagoshima has a rainfall of 2,434.7 mm, well above that of Bangkok.
And Tokyo is in third place with 1597.2 mm, then Seoul is in fourth place with 1417.8 mm. It is surprising that Kagoshima has 1,000mm more precipitation per year than Seoul.
 


 
Kagoshima has the most precipitation in June, followed by July, August, September, and May. June and July are the rainy season, while August and September are typhoon season, and Kagoshima is now in a summer disaster season.

The number of disasters in Kagoshima is 2.2 times the national average!
The reason why Kagoshima tends to have many disasters is that, as mentioned above, it receives a lot of rainfall and is prone to landslides due to its ash-based soil.

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Disasters that Occur When Heavy Rain Falls

 

The following three things happen when there is heavy rainfall.

1. landslides
2. river flooding
3. flooding of low-lying areas
 

In the following, I would like to discuss 1. landslides in more detail.
There are three types of landslides.
 


 
The image above is from tenki.jp

 

 

1. Debris Flow

 

(Average annual occurrence in the prefecture: 14 cases)
A phenomenon in which soil, stones, trees, and other debris from mountainsides and mountain streams are swept downstream at once by torrential rains.
The speed is 20 to 40 kilometers per hour, and in a split second, it can wash away houses, fields, and other structures.

 

 

2. Slope Failure

 

(Average annual occurrence in the prefecture: 66 cases)
A phenomenon in which rainwater seeps into the area near the surface of a cliff and loosens it, causing it to collapse suddenly.
The time until it collapses is very short, and if it happens near houses, occupants may not be able to escape in time.

 

 

3. Landslide

 

(Average occurrence per year in the prefecture: 1)
A phenomenon in which part or all of a slope moves slowly.
The wider the area of movement, the greater the damage.

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To Avoid landslides


 

 

1. Check If the Area is Safe

 

Hazard maps are distributed to each household by the local government. It is important to confirm in advance whether the area where you live, or where you often go to work, will be safe from flooding in the event of a disaster or a tsunami.
 

We also recommend viewing the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s website “Overlapping Hazard Maps” for visual confirmation.
From “Select by Disaster Type” in the upper left corner of the page, you can check the hazard map for the specific disaster type you want to know about, or you can check all hazard maps for all disasters at once by overlapping them.
 

Overlapping hazard maps↓
 


 

 

By clicking each button in the “Select by Disaster Type” column in the image above, you can check the risk areas for each disaster type.
There is also a button on the right side that allows you to check evacuation centers.
 

Due to climate change caused by global warming, disasters that previously occurred “once in several decades” have become more frequent in recent years.
 

In Kagoshima, a disaster called the “8.6 Flood (8・6 Suigai / 8・6水害)” occurred in 1993, leaving 49 people dead or missing overnight. The lecture included a VTR that recalled the damage at that time, showing images of people chest-deep in the streets of central Kagoshima City trying to evacuate and an old stone bridge being swallowed by the river, reminding the audience of the threat of nature.

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2. Catch Information that Disaster is Imminent

 

There are five types of weather information issued during heavy rainfall
 

(1) Information on Heavy Rainfall
Announced a few days to a day before heavy rain is forecast

(2) Heavy Rain Advisory
Announced half a day to several hours before heavy rain is expected

(3) Heavy Rain Warning
Announced a few hours to two hours before heavy rainfall

(4) Landslide Alert Information
Notification of imminent danger

(5) Heavy Rain Emergency Warning
(Situations where a disaster has already occurred)

 

This information is available on the following apps and websites.
Please visit the URL or QR code listed.
 

◎MBC App

 

This app has a function to notify you when weather warnings are issued. If you wish to be notified, please turn on notifications from the app’s settings. You will also be notified of evacuation information from Kagoshima City and information on the opening of evacuation shelters.  (Japanese language only)
 

 

◎Japan Meteorological Agency Web Page

https://www.jma.go.jp/bosai/map.html#5/30.714/137.681/&elem=all&contents=warning&lang=en
 

 

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The rainy season and typhoon season are coming.
Let’s do what we can to prepare for them now.
In the next issue, we will feature volcanic eruptions, typhoons, and earthquakes.
 

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Category : Disaster Prevention , text @en

Tag : 24 divisions of the solar year , 24sekki , corona virus , COVID-19 , COVID19 , Emergency , Japanese culture , season , tanabata , The coronavirus , 日本の文化

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