2012-04-24

Landslide in Utashinai City

by Kazu

These photos will not on the newspaper tomorrow morning. These were taken in the morning today.
The roadside of Akabira-Naie line administered by Hokkaido Prefectural Government and the around area toppled down in the morning of April 24(Tue.) in Utashinai City that had almost gone bunkrupted 6 years ago. 
Allegedly the area had been an informal  gabage dam where the citizens and their neighbours had thrown in their gabage many years ago. Actually when I walked around the top of the cliff, I felt the touch of plastics and bynyl sheets on the surface. 
These area was hit by heavy snow in passing winter and had not-so-heavy rainfall these days. The land slide occurred after 8:40 in the morning when one of the neighbours walked around this area. After that one of the citizen made a phone call to the police in Utashinai City at 8:58 in the morning and told that the water of the river Panke-utashinai had got muddy and the landslide had stopped the river flow and caused flood around this area. The depth of the canyon the landslide of 100 meters made was 25 meter in depth and 50 meters in width.    
Some houses are around the cliff the landslide made and 197 citizens were evacuated from their house.
Of course the traffic on the road Akabira-Naie line had been stoppedbecause of the fear of more landslide from the upperside. 

 This is the temporary lake made by the land slide.
The water in the lake went across the road and swamped to the other side of the road. A fire engine stood still for a while swamped by the water from the river.
 I hope the firefighters in Utashinai City will be able to use this fireengine again.
But the muffler was completely under the water at the time.
 The apartment buildings run by the city were near the river Pnke-Utashinai.

The firefighters were struggle with the water and flood.
 The flood water was pumped out from the residence area soon.
It is required to cooperate each other among the administrative organization such as municipality, prefectural government and self-defence force in Japan.
 This flood may be a piece of cake in comparison with the huge earthquake and OOTSUNAMI taht had happened in eastern part of Japan on March of 2011 but we have to build up the strong communities and system to protect the citizens from the disasters.
 
After the backhoes provided by the construction companies in Utashinai City took off the mud in the river that had stopped the river flow, the flood water was pumped out and the water swamped to the town was decreasing. 
Thanks to the good communication among the municipality, Japanese Self-defence Force,  police, firefighters and the Sub-prefectural Office of Hokkaido Government, no casualty in Utashinai City and around the area.
Thanks God !
To be continued.

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