One solution is vertical evacuation. Particularly following the Tohoku earthquake in 2011, tsunami evacuation towers have been built in vulnerable locations along the Enshunada coast. The concept is simple - build a tall tower capable of withstanding both intense shaking and the tsunami wave and evacuate vertically in the event of an earthquake. The photos here are from the Otagawa lowlands, approximately 30km east of Lake Hamana.
|Tsunami evacuation tower seen from the ground level. The top is at approximately 15m above sea level.|
|The view to the west from the top of the evacuation tower. The coastal plain stretches for more than 30km in this direction. QRN team members in the foreground.|
|The main space for evacuation. The top floor can hold 180 people and the entire structure can hold 400. Solar panels provide an electrical supply.|
|Yokoyama-san investigates the contents of an emergency supply box on the top of the evacuation tower.|
|The concept of vertical evacuation up artificial mounds in response to extreme waves is not new. Here QuakeRecNankai team member stand in front of an artificial mound built in 1680 for evacuation during typhoons. It was last used 30 years ago.|
|The life-saving hill at Minato|
|Artificial mounds continue to be created alongside evacuation towers.|
While tsunami evacuation towers and mounds are clearly essential for saving lives in vulnerable regions with flat coastal topography, in densely populated areas, the capacity of vertical evacuation structures may be insufficient and other solutions must also be found.