One year after deadly flooding in western Japan, disaster resonates for vulnerable areas of Tokyo
Edogawa Ward didn’t mince words when it updated its hazard map in May for the first time in 11 years.
“Do not remain here,” it said in bold letters, urging residents to flee from the ward to other areas in the event of wide-scale flooding. The municipality has reason to be concerned: sandwiched between the Arakawa and Edogawa rivers and facing Tokyo Bay, 70 percent of its land is below sea level, making it one of the most vulnerable among the capital’s 23 wards to disasters caused by torrential rain, typhoons and high tides.
It’s not only Edogawa. Most areas in the low-lying “five wards of Koto” in eastern Tokyo — also including Adachi, Katsushika, Koto and Sumida — will be submerged in a worst-case scenario, it said, affecting 2.5 million people, or over 90 percent of the entire population of the five wards combined.
Edogawa’s effort in raising the alarm reflects the sense of crisis felt among officials of the world’s largest metropolis as the nation marks the one year anniversary Saturday of the torrential rain that caused days of flooding in southwestern Japan, killing over 200 people and destroying or damaging more than 20,000 homes….
How Extreme Heat Overwhelms Your Body and Becomes Deadly
The heat wave that scorched Europe last week felt like a red alert of climate change. Death Valley was cooler than southern France, where temperatures reached a record-breaking 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
But as the heat broke and returned to the relatively temperate 80s, another forewarning emerged. Civilizations need to adapt and protect themselves from extreme heat.
More than anyone, the French are aware of just how deadly extreme heat can be. In 2003, a heat wave lasting two weeks killed an estimated 15,000 people in France—and 70,000 throughout Europe. By comparison, this June heat wave lasted just four days. It will take time for authorities to determine the “excess mortality” it caused, but the precautions, including cooling centers and misting machines, seem to have prevented calamity….