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2014年8月23日 (土)

(社説)広島土砂災害 検証究めて命を守れ

August 22, 2014
EDITORIAL: Hiroshima landslides show need to review disaster response plans
(社説)広島土砂災害 検証究めて命を守れ

Massive landslides caused by heavy rainfall engulfed wide areas in northern parts of Hiroshima, leaving dozens of people dead or missing.
 広島市北部の土砂災害で多くの犠牲者が出た。

The disaster is reminiscent of the mudslides that killed 32 people in Hiroshima Prefecture 15 years ago and prompted the central government to enact the landslide disaster prevention law.
広島県では15年前、32人が犠牲になる豪雨があり、国が土砂災害防止法を制定するきっかけになった。

It is deeply deplorable that lessons learned from the tragedy in 1999 have not been effectively applied.
その教訓が生かされなかったことは痛恨の極みだ。

Much of the areas where landslides occurred this time have not been designated as special caution areas under the law. The Hiroshima municipal government advised evacuations only after the disaster started unfolding. A secondary landslide occurred in a disaster-hit area, killing a firefighter who was engaged in rescue work.
 今回、土砂が崩れた場所の多くは、法に基づく警戒区域に指定されていなかった。広島市が避難を勧告したのは災害発生後。現場では二次崩壊が起き、消防署員が亡くなった。

An exhaustive investigation should be carried out to learn why the landslides caused so many casualties and so much damage.
 なぜこんなことになったのか。徹底した検証が必要だ。

It was in the hours before dawn on Aug. 20 that cumulonimbus clouds, or dense towering vertical clouds associated with thunderstorms and heavy precipitation, formed quickly, triggering torrential rainfall exceeding 100 mm per hour.
 積乱雲が急に発達し、1時間100ミリを超す猛烈な雨になったのは未明だった。

It should be noted that cumulative rainfall is a crucial factor for mudslide disasters. In Hiroshima, total precipitation since early August had been more than three times greater than average. The local meteorological observatory issued a mudslide warning before the rainfall peaked.
とはいえ、土砂災害は、累積の降水量が大きく影響する。広島市では今月上旬以降、降水量が平年の3倍強。豪雨がピークを迎える前に、気象台から土砂災害警戒情報は出ていた。

In addition, the nature of the soil in Hiroshima is known to be unstable and vulnerable to mudslides.
 ただでさえ広島は地質がもろい。

With many residential areas located close to the foothills, Hiroshima Prefecture has more high-risk areas for landslides than any other prefecture.
山すそに近い住宅地が多く、県内の土砂災害危険箇所の数は全国一だ。

A senior official of the Hiroshima municipal government said there were faint expectations that the rainfall would soon taper off. But the government was apparently too optimistic.
広島市幹部は「(雨が)収束するのではとの淡い期待があった」と言うが、認識が甘すぎた。

Every year, around 1,000 landslide disasters take place in Japan. In October 2013, huge mudflows caused by a typhoon claimed 39 lives on Izu-Oshima island off Tokyo.
 日本では毎年1千件前後の土砂災害が起きている。昨年10月は東京・伊豆大島で土石流が発生し、39人が犠牲になった。

There have been signs that torrential rain occurs more frequently than in the past. Experts suspect that global warming is causing the trend.
猛烈な雨も増加傾向にあり、温暖化の影響が疑われている。

The risk of natural disasters is rising. It is clearly necessary to enhance systems to protect the lives of people during these calamities.
 災害リスクは高まっている。命を守る網の強化が必要だ。

In areas struck by landslides in Hiroshima, many people have said they were not aware of the danger. Local governments have created and published hazard maps showing levels of natural hazards for areas. But people tend to think their areas are safe.
 広島の被災地では「危険だと思っていなかった」という声が相次いだ。自治体はハザードマップをつくって公表しているが、住民はえてして「自分のところは大丈夫」と思いがちだ。

More meticulous and effective efforts should be made to make local residents aware of the risks they are facing.
よりきめ細かく、危険性を周知していく必要がある。

In the cases of Izu-Oshima and Hiroshima, the rain intensified late at night, causing delays in the responses by the local governments.
 伊豆大島や広島のケースでは、雨が夜更けに強まったことが自治体の対応を鈍らせた。

Needless to say, natural disasters can occur at any time, day or night. Swift actions based on weather forecasts must be made when there is the possibility of a disaster.
当然ながら災害は昼夜関係なく起こる。気象予測に合わせた、早め早めの備えが肝心だ。

Kumamoto Prefecture in the last fiscal year launched a new disaster response program focused on “preventive evacuations,” which can be instructive for other local governments.
 熊本県が昨年度から始めた「予防的避難」が参考になる。

The prefectural government developed the program after heavy downpours in the early morning hours caused casualties in July 2012.
 12年7月の未明の豪雨で犠牲者が出た反省から、

Under the program, when heavy nighttime rainfall is expected, local governments set up evacuation sites in the evening and call for voluntary evacuations.
夜間に大雨が心配される場合は、自治体が夕方から避難所を設け、自主避難を呼びかける。

When Typhoon No. 8 struck Japan in July, some 5,000 people in Kumamoto Prefecture actually took shelter under the program. Even if an evacuation later turns out to have been unnecessary, such actions are meaningful because they make people more conscious of the risks.
今年7月の台風8号の時は、県全域で約5千人が実際に避難した。空振りはあっても、住民の危機意識を高める効果が期待できよう。

To boost our own safety during natural disasters, we should do what we can during normal times.
 私たち自身の心がけも重要だ。

We can, for example, learn more about the geographical and geological features of the area where we live, such as the existence of a nearby hill and a river. And we can think about what we should do during torrential rain.
裏山がある、小川がある。そうした周辺の特性を理解し、大雨の時はどう行動するかをあらかじめ考えておく。

Such self-help efforts by individuals do a lot to reduce casualties from actual disasters.
一人ひとりがそうした自助努力を積み重ね、命が奪われる事態をなくしていきたい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 22

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