Miyazaki Prefecture has an extraordinary high amount of rainfall. Nearly every year, typhoons reach the land or come close to the coast, and ceaseless rainfall causes damage to the area.
Part of Miyazaki City`s 40 km coastline is facing the “Hyûga-nada Sea“, which has been designated as Earthquake Special Observation Area. Therefore, citizens of Miyazaki have to be prepared not only for earthquakes, but also tsunamis.
Fortunately, no major disaster has occurred in the near past, but several times human life encountered lethal threat and could escape annihilation only by a hair’s breadth.
Of course, most residents have taken preparatory measures in one or another way against natural disasters, but the fact has to be faced that there are a few individuals who’s awareness of the danger is rather poor.
Through these web pages, Miyazaki City hopes to reach all citizens, and if you find anything on these pages that you feel you should put into practice to increase your security, please don’t hesitate to do so.
Since nearly all typhoons develop on the open see, they take a couple of days to enter the mainland or to reach the shore and therefore can be considered as natural disasters which damage can be minimized by preparatory measures.
On the other hand, heavy rains, which occur frequently in the area, are very hard to predict. It is necessary to not only listen carefully to the weather forecast, but also watch the condition of the clouds etc. in you living area.
As a matter of fact, most damages and accidents happen through low awareness of the danger potential caused by disasters (such as working on the roof during storm, approaching a flooded road or entering a flooded cellar).
The level of damage can be decreased just by a little attention paid by the individual or the family, that means awareness in everyday life is the crucial point.
Below you find a description of basic measures that should be taken in case of a typhoon, before wind and rain become extremely strong.
Take care of your own house and your neighboring houses to the same degree. Prevent things from flying around or collapsing.
- Put potted plants in your garden or on the veranda inside to prevent them from flying away.
- Repair damaged fences or walls, fix loose roof tiles.
- Close shutters or storm doors before wind and rain become strong.
Make sure all family members know emergency calls and shelters. Discuss how to minimize damage in your household.
- Try to avoid going outside when wind and rain are strong.
- Prepare a disaster emergency kit.
- Check for disaster broadcasts on electronic media.
- In case of flood threat, move furniture etc. on a higher level.
Especially during the Japanese rainy season (June-July), long lasting rains or short heavy rainfalls can cause landslides. Also within Miyazaki City, several places like rocks and others are designated as "disaster danger zone".
Other than floods or storms, landslide disasters bear great potential to cause maximum damage because of their sudden occurrence. Therefore, an exceptionally high knowledge by the citizens about preparedness for landslides is necessary.
Landslide disasters can be categorized into three kinds: rock slides, landslide and avalanche of earth and rocks. Heavy rains occurring during the rainy season are especially dangerous, and shelter should be sought immediately.
Below you find criteria how to judge whether a rock or a retaining wall is save or not.
Rocks that require attention
- pieces of soil (parts) look like falling down
- there is places where rainwater heavily pours out
- rocks with an incline higher than 30° and more than 5 m in height
- there are spots with sideway cracks
- spring water is flowing out
- if there is any warning sign of landslide
Retaining walls that require attention
Retaining walls are walls, which are constructed in order to prevent rocks and embankments from collapsing.
- form change in the retaining wall, large cracks
- there are no holes for water to run out, or holes are blocked
- big parts are loose, not fixed to the ground
- water accumulates easily on top or bottom of rock, there is quagmire
Signs of rock slides
- muddy water descents from rock
- fissures occur in the rock
- small stones are dropping
- frightening sound
Signs of landslides
- cracks occur in the ground
- water of wells and creeks becomes muddy
- water spurts out from rocks or slopes
Signs of earth and rock avalanches
- mountain makes rumbling sound
- although rain keeps on falling, water level of river falls
- river looks muddy, driftwood comes flowing down
Earthquake damage is caused mainly by collapsing buildings, but according to experiences of past earthquakes, most casualties and injuries are caused by falling drawers or flying around tableware.
This damage can be effectively minimized only by fixing furniture to prevent it from tumbling or falling down.
As a measure for tsunami preparedness, along the sea shore of Miyazaki City, mobile speakers units for emergency broadcast are installed. However, after occurrence of an earthquake it takes 2 to 3 minutes until the broadcast can start. Therefore, in case the tsunami occurs very close to the shore, warnings might not be broadcasted in time.
Nevertheless, if an earthquake occurs near the shore which is big enough to cause a tsunami, ground motion is clearly noticeable. After ground motion stops, the occurrence of a tsunami should be expected, and shelter should be sought in an area with a higher ground level.
To be prepared for earthquakes, measures should be taken in everyday life as described below.
- Fix objects like antennas and plant pots on verandas to prevent them from falling down.
- Repair fissures in block walls or other walls, fix loose roof tiles.
- Fix propane gas cylinders tightly with a chain or similar.
- If possible, apply antiscattering material on window glass on second floor.
- Create an empty, save space inside your house where you can move during earthquakes.
- Prepare an emergency kit.
- Do not put any large furniture into your bedroom.
- Fix furniture like refrigerators and drawers to prevent them from falling over.
- Make sure your family members are informed about emergency calls and shelters.