The effects of March 11’s earthquake were felt in Tokyo’s bayside area which is mostly reclaimed land. There were cases of liquefaction, broken water pipes, gas outages and leaning buildings.
“The north side of our house has sunk about 20cm due to liquefaction and is leaning. Watery sand covered the garden.” – reported one resident.
Half of the homes in Urayasu City, Chiba, suffered water outages
Approximately two-thirds of the liquefaction damage was in Mihama-ku, Chiba. A total of 37,000 households are still without water. The waterpipes ruptured during the quake and half of the water and sewerage facilities suffered damage.
On March 13, the Maritime Self Defense Forces sent a warship containing water. Residents formed long lines at the water supply trucks. There was also a rush on bottled water at the supermarkets.
The roads also experienced a large amount of damage due to liquefaction. Roads were protuding or caved in and manholes had risen.
Gas Supplies Shut Off
“There is no water so we cannot use the toilet. The gas has also been shut off. The roads are also severely warped so it is very difficult to walk. I have lived in Urayasu for 25 years but I have never experienced this.” – an 82 yr old resident in Urayasu City, Chiba.
Urayasu City’s Disaster Prevention Headquarters has set up portable toilet facilities in schools and apartment buildings. However, they have only been able to assist less than 1% of the households who have no water supply. Gas has also been cut to 5,000 households.
The local sightseeing industry has also been dealt a blow. Tokyo Disneyland is located in Urayasu City. It has been closed since March 12th. In particular, Disney Sea had mud spouting out from the ground which caused bus stop facilities to collapse and street lights to lean dangerously. Water and sewarage services have stopped. The nearby hotels have also stopped operations.
The City Mayor has petitioned for the area to be classified as a disaster zone. Although this area was scheduled for the rolling blackouts, as of March 15 it was excluded due to the damages it has suffered.
J-Cast, March 15, 2011
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