Floods stretch limits of Japan's elaborate water networks


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I saw where reporters interviewed people before the levee broke - some of the same people who were stranded because they did not evacuate. Not sure how to feel about that.

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did not evacuate and then stranded, hmmm who is to blame there? Make them pay and dearly for wasting my tax yen to save them when they had the opportunity to get out.

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It is well known by now that the more costly the measures to prevent natural disaster the more devastating the consequences when they are eventually breached, as they always will be. Japan seems to favour rather confrontational measures, rather than working with the grain of nature in a more sophisticated approach, I feel. I reiterate that this is more a feeling than being backed by any evidence but the prime beneficiaries of public works always seem to be construction companies who know only construction. I also wonder what are the hydrological consequences of all these massive cryptomeria plantations. It must be worse than native forest for water retention or evaporation. A public works project replacing cryptomeria with something more like it used to be would be better all round, I believe, and also for flooding prevention.

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You know, regarding evacuation, I feel strongly both ways. I was in an evacuation situation and decided not to do so, and I am really glad I didn't. Clearly there is no better person to take care of my property and community than me. Clearly there is no better place, given due circumspection, to weather a crisis than in one's home.

You know, your mileage may vary, but sending refugees out on questionable roads in little vehicles in a panic might actually create more problems than it solves.

And at the margin, some people are going to make questionable decisions. It happens. All in all, I think Japanese people do an extremely good job. Generally they act reasonably and with due caution.

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"Japan’s rulers ordered a change to the river’s course" I would say this was the biggest cause. A lesson to heed - it's arrogant to think we can control nature.

Rivers will take the course of least resistence Change the course and the river will always try to go back to it's original course.

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I was here wondering if they had gotten evacuation I know.Anyway, I am thankful that most were still taken to safety and I know it will not happen again. It took something like this for the people in my country to actually start paying attention to warnings. We weren't half as organized as Japan is though ...

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"I was here wondering if they had gotten evacuation warnings..."

Warnings are not as cut and dried as people think. I think people have this idea that it is just a clear message of "leave immediately" that everyone receives magically even without electricity. In the real world, a warning usually is vague in terms of the geographical area, in terms of what a person should do or expect, and even what to look for.

I got 6 warnings from 10 pm to 3 am, and I chose not to do jack. And had no problems. Some people living within 3 km or so had problems though. I think they knew the score with or without warnings. .

Our power was not interrupted. Phone service was fine. But in some situations where all that is cut, it is difficult to get warnings out. People are prone to blame government in times like this but I think personal responsibility can benefit people quite well in emergency situations.

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