Super typhoon may flood a third of Tokyo

TOKYO • One-third of central Tokyo could be left under water and nearly four million people affected if a super typhoon were to strike Japan's capital, causing storm surges, a new study has warned.

The Tokyo metropolitan government unveiled on Friday its first estimate of the capital city's vulnerability to damage from typhoon-related high tidal waves, as risks of storm damage continue to rise globally.

According to the report, 212 sq km, or one third of Tokyo's central area, could be inundated to a maximum depth of 10m if a super typhoon creates high tidal waves.

A severe event of this type would be estimated to affect as many as 3.95 million people in the city, flooding business and entertainment districts as well as major railway stations, the local government said.

Tokyo has a population of 13.7 million people.

In particular, Tokyo's eastern zone near Arakawa River would be flooded for more than a week if rising tidal waves at Tokyo Port break through river levees.

Based on the estimate, the Tokyo government said it plans to update evacuation measures and review how it sends warning messages to local residents.

Big storms regularly hit the Japanese archipelago, triggering landslides and floods that have often led to sizeable number of casualties.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 01, 2018, with the headline 'Super typhoon may flood a third of Tokyo'. Print Edition | Subscribe