Over 200 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by the recent torrential rain in western Japan in July 2018.
It is the highest death toll caused by rainfall that Japan has seen in more than four decades.
In Japan, 1300 municipalities released the hazard maps.
They namely pinpoint locations at risk of floods or landslides.
There was a time when the disclosure of hazard information raised many eyebrows as fanning people’s fears and lowering property values.
But after we saw the recent worst flooding disaster in west of Japan in four decades, this is no longer the case.
In the Mabicho district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, the flooded areas reportedly corresponded exactly to what the hazard map showed. To date, more than 40 bodies have been recovered from severely flooded residential neighborhoods, now blanketed with mud.
Japan is subject to many wind and water related disasters due to the fact that much of the land is steeply inclined and experiences a lot of rain. In addition, typhoons also hit Japan from summer to fall.
Located in an area where many continental plates meet, Japan also experience earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Although Japan is a disaster-prone country, there is no need to be overly concerned.
We have some preparation measures. For example, here In Japan, every resident with a mobile phone receives a text message warning of imminent quakes.
Many disasters are small in scale, and Japan has accumulated knowledge on how to deal with disasters through past experience.
Secondary disasters that occur after the quake also characterize major earthquakes. If you and your property are near the coast, there may be a risk of tsunami.
According to an article in Economist in February 2018, in US,
“there is a 10% chance that in the next 30 years an earthquake between 8.0 and 9.0 in magnitude will rupture the Cascadia subduction zone that runs along the coast of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.
US has no early-warning system.
Mexico, Turkey, Romania, China, Italy, and Taiwan all have systems to warn residents of imminent earthquakes.”
My point is that natural disasters could happen anywhere in the world and thus preparation is very critical.
Many foreign investors ask us about the liquefaction risk in Tokyo area.
Today I am going to discuss the risk of liquefaction caused by the earthquake in Tokyo citing the information released by the local governments.
Japan has the risk of earthquake.
You remember the earthquake in Kobe in 1995 and Tsunami disaster in Fukushima in 2011.
Although Japan’s earthquake-resistant technology of buildings is considerably advanced than that of other countries,
we have to be realistic.
In the interest of personal safety and protecting the value of what is likely your biggest financial asset,
prospective buyers and investors should be aware of any natural disaster risk impacting a potential property purchase.
If the building is broken or collapsed due to an earthquake, you cannot get rent.
In most cases, learning about natural disaster risk will not stop investment, but it will help investors make a better-informed decision about where to buy and preparing in terms of appropriate insurance coverage depending on the type of natural disaster risks most affecting the property.
Unfortunately we don’t have a comprehensive ‘natural disaster risk score’ covering whole Japan announced by the government or a certain institute but on the prefecture and city level, many prefectures and cities
release ‘hazard maps’ to show the risks of natural disasters
in the area.