Following the terrible damage inflicted in March last year by tsunami washing upstream along river courses, disaster-hit Miyagi Prefecture has decided to build protective embankments along its rivers opening onto the sea.
The prefecture had been considering two common anti-tsunami damage strategies for coastal rivers: embankments and sluice gates near river mouths. The prefecture opted for embankments due to the deaths of a number of emergency workers in last year's tsunami when they went to close existing sluice gates, while areas around river mouths near gates that had been shut suffered greater damage.
According to the Miyagi official in charge of the project, about half of the about 30 significant grade-2 rivers in the prefecture are currently defended by sluice gates. However, the prefecture will build protective embankments along all these rivers, except for one that is administered jointly with several municipalities. A detailed work plan will be drawn up, and construction on the embankments is expected by fiscal 2015 at a total cost of tens of billions of yen. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, meanwhile, will build embankments along four rivers in Miyagi designated as major grade-1 water courses by the central government. Read More