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2014年8月22日 (金)

広島土砂災害 生かされなかった過去の教訓

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Failure to learn from past disasters contributed to landslide tragedy
広島土砂災害 生かされなかった過去の教訓

A massive volume of dirt and sediment swept down valleys and engulfed many homes.
 谷を流れ下った大量の土砂が、多数の住宅をのみ込んだ。

Before dawn on Wednesday, torrential rain that pounded parts of Hiroshima city triggered debris flows and cliff collapses in more than 10 locations. About 40 people have been confirmed dead, and several others remain missing. It is a harrowing disaster.
 局地的豪雨に見舞われた広島市内の10か所以上で20日未明、土石流や崖崩れが発生した。約40人の死亡が確認され、行方不明者もいる。痛ましい災害だ。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had been on summer vacation, quickly returned to the Prime Minister’s Office and ordered more Self-Defense Forces personnel to the affected areas to conduct search and rescue operations for victims of the tragedy.
 夏休み中だった安倍首相は急きょ、首相官邸に戻り、被災者の救命・救助にあたっている自衛隊の増員などを指示した。

A firefighter engaged in a rescue mission at the scene also died when he became buried under the mud. We hope the police, firefighters and the SDF take care to avoid being caught in secondary disasters while doing everything in their power to search for the missing people.
 現地では、救助活動中の消防隊員も犠牲になった。警察や消防、自衛隊は、二次災害に注意を払いつつ、不明者の捜索に全力を挙げてもらいたい。

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Asa-Kita Ward in Hiroshima city was inundated by more than 200 millimeters of rain in the three hours to 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. This is 1.5 times the amount of rainfall the area gets for the whole of August in a normal year. This huge amount of rainwater swept away dirt and trees, and then poured into residential areas at the foot of hills in the ward.
 気象庁によると、広島市安佐北区では、20日午前4時半までの3時間雨量が200ミリを超えた。例年の8月1か月間の1・5倍の降水量だった。大量の雨水が、土砂と樹木を巻き込みながら、山裾の住宅地に流れ込んだ。

Experts have pointed to the fragile geological features peculiar to Hiroshima as one reason why the damage was so extensive. The ground on which many homes were built is a kind of compacted granite scree known in Japanese as “masado.”
 甚大な被害が出た原因として、広島特有のもろい地質が指摘される。花こう岩が風化し、堆積した「まさ土」の上に、多くの住宅が建てられている。

About 32,000 locations in Hiroshima Prefecture are designated as being at risk from landslides. That is the highest figure for any other prefecture in Japan by a significant margin. Hiroshima, more than any prefecture, needed to routinely prepare for such a disaster.
 広島県内の土砂災害危険箇所は3万2000か所に上り、都道府県の中で突出して多い。日頃からの備えが、どこよりも求められていたと言えるだろう。

Warnings too late

In June 1999, a similar disaster, including cliff collapses, in Hiroshima city killed 20 people. This prompted the enactment of the Sediment Disasters Prevention Law in 2001.
 広島市では1999年6月にも、今回のような崖崩れなどが発生し、20人が死亡した。この災害をきっかけに、土砂災害防止法が2001年に施行された。

Under this law, prefectural governments must examine areas vulnerable to landslides and other sediment disasters, and designate areas at risk as “special caution” or “caution” zones. Municipal governments are obligated to compile hazard maps showing areas at risk. The development of residential areas is restricted in special caution zones.
 防止法は、都道府県が、危険箇所を調査した上で、警戒区域や特別警戒区域に指定し、市区町村がハザードマップを作製するよう義務付けている。特別警戒区域では、宅地開発が規制される。

However, many of the areas affected by Wednesday’s landslides had not been categorized as requiring caution. There have been claims that the designation of zones at risk could not keep up with the workload due to a personnel shortage. It is regrettable that the law did not function as expected.
 だが、今回の被災地域の多くは警戒区域に指定されていなかった。人員不足で指定作業が追いつかないとの証言もある。防止法が機能しなかったのは残念だ。

The Hiroshima city government issued evacuation orders and advisories to residents at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday and later. By this stage, the mudslides had apparently already occurred. The city government has acknowledged the delay in issuing the evacuation warnings was the result of “mistakes in analysis of the rainfall.”
 広島市が住民に避難指示・勧告を出したのは、20日午前4時15分以降だった。既に、土砂災害が発生していたとみられる。市は「雨量の分析を誤った」と、発令の遅れを認めた。

Be that as it may, even if evacuation orders and advisories had been issued properly, evacuating in the dark as pounding rain falls also has its dangers.
 ただ、適切に避難指示・勧告が発令されても、豪雨と暗闇の中での避難は、危険が伴う。

It is important that all municipalities, not just Hiroshima, consider how they can safely evacuate residents during disasters that occur in the middle of the night and in the hours before dawn.
 広島市に限らず、夜間や未明に発生した災害での避難の在り方は、重要な検討課題である。

These heavy downpours were caused by warm, moist air from the south that flowed into a stationary front over the Sea of Japan. This weather pressure pattern will reportedly continue for a while. Vigilance against further disasters must be maintained, especially in western Japan.
 今回の豪雨は、日本海にある前線に、南の暖かく湿った空気が流れ込んだことが原因だ。この気圧配置はしばらく続くという。西日本を中心に、警戒を怠れない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 21, 2014)

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