Experts urge 5-minute evacuation planning

09/25/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) — Residents of areas susceptible to tsunami should live in places designed to allow for evacuation on foot within five minutes of an alert being issued, according to a government expert panel.

The panel, formulating disaster response improvements in the wake of the March 11 disasters, will present its findings to the government on Sept. 28.

Policymakers will use these opinions to reshape Japan’s Disaster Prevention Basic Plan.

The Basic Plan outlines government response to all sorts of natural or man-made disasters, starting with earthquakes and including guidelines for dealing with such events as aircraft accidents. The Basic Plan includes instructions for disaster prevention, response and measures for restoration and recovery. The Basic Plan is made up using material largely drawn from disaster response plans central government ministries and agencies and local governments.

During the March 11 tsunami that inundated a large swathe of the Tohoku Region, there were many examples of people trying to flee by car, which crowded roads and left many vulnerable to the wall of water that slammed into the area.

Consequently, the expert panel recommended that city planners make designs that allow for evacuation by foot, and within five minutes of a tsunami warning being issued.

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