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Living Information

Be Prepared for Tsunami (津波に備えよう)

2022.02.27

Many residents may have been surprised recently when tsunami advisories and even warnings were issued for parts of Japan after a dramatic undersea volcanic eruption unleashed tsunami that inundated much of Tonga and also affected a number of other countries. While the effects of the Tonga tsunami were negligible here, it was a reminder of the unpredictability of nature, and the potential for a distant disaster to have an impact on the lives of people elsewhere. And many readers will recall the much closer Tohoku Earthquake and the devastation wrought by the ensuing tsunami on 11 March 2011.
Have you ever thought about what you would do if tsunami were forecast for Ise Bay? Do you know which parts of Nagoya City are estimated to be at the most risk? How can you find out if your home, school or workplace is at risk? And if you need to evacuate, where should you go?

Tsunami Hazard Maps

The City of Nagoya has issued Tsunami Hazard Maps (anata no machi no tsunami hazādo mappu / あなたの街の津波ハザードマップ) to inform residents of the results of damage estimation surveys for the largest class of tsunami based on data from historical earthquakes, and taking a range of possibilities into account. This data is represented on the map side of the Hazard Map, together with a list of Tsunami Evacuation Buildings, which are also indicated on the map.


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The information side of the Hazard Map features information including how to be prepared for tsunami, how to evacuate, and what to take with you.

Read the Tsunami Hazard Map

What to do if a tsunami warning, etc. is issued for Nagoya City

  • If you feel the shaking of a strong earthquake, move away from the coastline and rivers immediately.
  • A tsunami could occur even when an earthquake seems small, or you may not have even noticed the tremor. Listen out for information on tsunami on TV or radio, and if a tsunami warning is issued, evacuate to a safe, high place.
  • Elderly people, infants and toddlers and other people who need more time to evacuate should evacuate as early as possible.
  • Evacuate on foot. (Refrain from using a car or other vehicle to evacuate to avoid the risk of traffic jams.)
  • When evacuating, be sure to turn off any cooking equipment, etc. that could cause a fire, and lock your doors.
  • The tide may not necessarily recede before a tsunami reaches the shore.
When a major tsunami warning is issued

If a major tsunami warning (ō-tsunami keihō / 大津波警報) is issued, you will need to escape to high ground, where the tsunami will not reach, immediately. If you do not have time to reach high ground, or there is no high ground nearby, seek temporary refuge in a Tsunami Evacuation Building (see below).
Tsunami will come in multiple waves. Don't leave the safety of your refuge until the tsunami warning is lifted.

When a tsunami warning is issued

If a tsunami warning (tsunami keihō / 津波警報) is issued, move away from the coastline and evacuate to a safe place.
Moving to a low-lying area, a basement or other low area is dangerous. Keep the potential for aftershocks of the initial earthquake in mind, and evacuate to a high, earthquake-resistant building.
Don't go into the water or approach the coastline until the tsunami warning is lifted.

When a tsunami advisory is issued

If a tsunami advisory (tsunami chūihō / 津波注意報) is issued, come out of the water if swimming, etc., and move away from
the coastline.
Stay away from the coastline until the tsunami advisory is lifted.


Tsunami Evacuation Buildings

The City of Nagoya's current tsunami countermeasures are based on a scenario of an earthquake of the most powerful class triggering tsunami which would reach Nagoya City within 96 minutes (at the earliest, with a wave height of 30cm), with the maximum height of tsunami in areas around the shore estimated at 3.6m. In order to save lives in such a scenario, the City of Nagoya has designated Tsunami Evacuation Buildings (tsunami hinan biru / 津波避難ビル).
Following an earthquake, if a tsunami warning or major tsunami warning is issued for Ise Bay and Mikawa Bay, residents will need to escape to an elevated location out of reach of tsunami.
Tsunami Evacuation Buildings are Designated Emergency Assembly Points to use in the event of a tsunami.


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A Tsunami Evacuation Building can be identified by a green sticker affixed prominently at the entrance or other easily visible part of the exterior of the building. The symbol uses the JIS pictogram for Tsunami Evacuation Building, and text in five languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Korean).
Tsunami Evacuation Buildings are located mainly in areas designated Tsunami Disaster Alert Areas (tsunami saigai keikai kuiki / 津波災害警戒区域) in Nakamura Ward, Mizuho Ward, Atsuta Ward, Nakagawa Ward, Minato Ward, Minami Ward and Midori Ward. The number of Tsunami Evacuation Buildings will continue to increase as more are designated.

List of Tsunami Evacuation Buildings

List (in Japanese) can be viewed on the City of Nagoya website

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