Japan to Create Disaster Debris Database to Improve Estimates

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry / The Environment Ministry In Chiyoda ward, Tokyo.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan’s Environment Ministry plans to create a disaster debris database by the end of fiscal 2022, with a view to improving estimates about the volume of debris caused by typhoons and other natural disasters.

The database will cover about 1,500 cases since 2000 in which local governments applied for subsidies for handling disaster debris.

By analyzing the past debris data by area and by disaster and debris type, the ministry plans to develop a new method to estimate the volume of disaster debris.

Speedy and accurate estimates are expected to make it easier for local governments to find the necessary size of temporary debris storage area and to draw up debris management plans.

“We hope that (creating the database) will lead to more accurate estimates,” a ministry official in charge of the matter said.

The current estimate method is based on data from some disasters including the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. The method can be used if how many houses are damaged or flooded is known.